European power facts


“Power Facts Europe 2019” is a focused and data-driven report on the dimension, status quo, development and perspectives of key areas of the European energy transition published today by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The “Power Facts” are part of a wider ENTSO-E transparency initiative by which ENTSO-E and the transmission system operators (TSOs) aim to provide citizens with factual support to promote the energy transition in Europe and its acceptance.

The “Power Facts Europe” consist of six chapters. The first three represent the common triad of sustainability, market and security of supply, which is supplemented by chapters on infrastructure, customers and the cyber physical grid. Each chapter offers relevant data compilations, mainly provided by the TSO community, that allow a better understanding of important aspects related to the energy transition.

ENTSO-E has released “Power Facts Europe 2019”, a consistent data report on the EU-wide energy transition

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Open ”Power Facts Europe 2019” (pdf, 22.7MB)

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EU supports research on power system interfaces


After implementing the network codes and the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, the European Commission is now funding INTERRFACE under the Horizon 2020 programme. The aim of this research project is to create new connections/interfaces in the power system. INTERRFACE has now been launched and will run for three years with a budget of €21m. It involves 42 partners from grid and market operators, aggregators, service and technology providers as well as universities.

The consortium includes the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSOE) and the two TSCNET shareholders ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO), and Transelectrica, the TSO from Romania. Together with their partners, they plan to develop an Interoperable pan-European Grid Services Architecture to serve as an interface between customers and power system operators – TSOs and distribution system operators (DSOs) – to allow seamless, transparent and non-discriminatory exchange of energy services.

INTERRFACE is intended to demonstrate the added value of data exchange between all players involved in the value chain of the electricity system, and this from local, regional to EU level. This would be a first in the energy sector. INTERRFACE should also enable TSOs, DSOs and customers to fully exploit and coordinate the potential of decentralised energy resources.

The European Commission is funding a research project on creating a Interoperable pan-European Grid Services Architecture

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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TSO proposals for balancing market integration


To pave the way for a well-functioning energy union, there are eight European network codes: regulations that are intended to promote the integration and coordination of the various national European energy markets. One of these codes, the Commission regulation establishing a guideline for electricity balancing (EBGL), is intended – as the wording implies – to integrate the national European balancing markets.

Cross-border balancing is crucial for the transmission system operators (TSOs) to continuously ensure that the grid frequency is kept within a defined security range and that the required level and quality of power reserves are maintained. The European TSOs have now substantially advanced the guideline implementation by submitting six proposals for balancing market integration and the creation of platforms for the exchange of balancing energy products to the competent national regulatory authorities (NRAs).

With the assistance of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSOE), these proposals have been developed in close cooperation between all TSOs and consulted with stakeholders. Laurent Schmitt, ENTSO-E Secretary General, is convinced that the realisation of the TSO proposals will create a level playing field for all market participants and thus lead to increased cross-border participation, supply security, competition and share of renewable energy. Consequently, Mr Schmitt identifies a “true ‘win-win-win situation‘, good for customer, the environment and the economy”.

The European TSOs have submitted six proposals for balancing market integration to the competent NRAs

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Visit the EBGL website (html)

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Publications on HDVC reliability and the balancing market


The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has adopted positions on two systemically relevant topics for the European energy market: the electricity balancing market and the improvement of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system reliability. Two respective papers have been released by ENTSO-E. The first, a balancing guideline, gives a simplified overview of the target model of the European balancing energy market and explains the most important concepts and processes associated with this market and the platforms for the exchange of balancing energy products. In addition to the focus on the interaction of the different balancing processes, the legal framework of the target model is also briefly outlined.

In its position paper on HDVC reliability, ENTSO-E recognises HDVC as an increasingly important method of transmitting large quantities of electrical energy for the Europe-wide transmission grid. As new HVDC connections play a key role in the future development of the continental transmission system, the reliability, availability, compatibility and robustness of the technology will be crucial for market and system security. For future challenges, high system security and the needs of an efficient European integrated market, it is essential that the owners of HVDC installations, together with other relevant HVDC stakeholders, focus not only on technology innovation but also on further process development, HVDC network integration studies and the maintainability to be carried out by transmission system operators (TSOs). ENTSO-E strongly supports more efficient cooperation between all HDVC players.

ENTSO-E has released a European electricity balancing guideline as well as a position paper on improving the reliability of HVDC systems  (picture of HVDC Plus IGBT converter modules: Siemens AG,

> See ENTSO-E press release on balancing market (html)
> Open Balancing Guideline (pdf, 892.3kB)
> See ENTSO-E press release on HDVC reliability (html)
> Open HDVC paper (pdf, 1.8MB)

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“RiffReporter” story: The more precise the forecast, the less intervention is required


A detailed article by freelance journalist Daniela Becker on the German reportage website RiffReporter, an innovative and award-winning project for “quality journalism on future topics”, presents TSCNET Services and the work of a Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) for the European power transmission grid. The article is based on thorough research and a talk with the two TSCNET managing directors, Maik Neubauer and Uwe Zimmermann. Besides the development of the company, the possible consequences of the EU package “Clean Energy for All Europeans” are also discussed.

An article on TSCNET Services has been issued on the reportage platform RiffReporter (picture: TSCNET Services / Quirin Leppert)

> Read RiffReporter article, in German (html)

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Substantial advancements in market integration


Even two positive news for the integration of the European power market have turned up this week. The first comes from the Cross-Border Intraday (XBID) solution. The aim of XBID is to increase the overall efficiency of cross-border trading and intraday coupling. Both are essential for the future European internal energy market. The parties involved in XBID are pleased to confirm that XBID is operating continuously stable and effectively: Since the go-live in June 2018, more than 6.3m trades have been successfully processed.

So far, XBID delivers continuous trading across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. The preparations for the second XBID-go-live-wave in 2019 are in full swing and the countries to participate are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Further changes to XBID concern the gate opening hours (GOTs) in accordance with a decision of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) of April 2018. Revised GOTs apply from 1 January 2019 initially in those capacity calculation regions (CCRs) where the capacity calculation methodology (CCM) has already been approved.

This week also saw the launch of the Single Allocation Platform for long-term capacity allocation at European borders. 28 transmission system operators (TSOs) from 22 European countries have thus taken another significant step towards an integrated power market. The new platform promotes the development of liquid and competitive forward markets all across Europe in a coordinated manner. It provides market participants with the opportunity to hedge against the risks of cross-border trading. The participating TSOs ensure non-discriminatory access for all market participants to long-term cross-zonal capacity at all relevant borders.

With XBID and the Single Allocation Platform, the European power market integration progresses substantially

> See Amprion press release (html)
> See TenneT press release, (html)
> See TransnetBW press release (html)
> See TransnetBW news release on allocation platform (html)

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Get e-codes on your smartphone


The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) presents an appealing new technical feature for anyone taking part or just being interested in the European energy market: The e-codes application for smartphone. With the e-codes app, you get direct access to the articles of all eight European electricity network codes and the respective guidelines.

The European network codes are regulations for facilitating the integration and coordination of European energy markets. They are intended to sweep aside the many obstacles on the road to a well-functioning European Energy Union. The network codes for the electrical system have been developed by ENTSO-E in cooperation with the European Commission and the European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

The last of the codes came into effect at the end of last year. Hence, it is high time to better involve market participants in code contents and implementation. Beyond the mere access to the code texts, the user of the e-code app has additional options such as tracking the implementation tasks, obtaining implementation deliverables and being informed about anything related to e-codes, e.g. public consultations or events.

ENTSO-E has developed a smartphone application to always keep users up to date with the European electricity network codes

> See ENTSO-E press release (html, with download options)
> Watch demonstration video on ENTSO-E’s YouTube channel

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Danish security of supply among the best


An availability rate of electricity of 99.995% of the time in 2017 is quite impressive, and the Danish TSCNET shareholder Energinet is the transmission system operator (TSO) presenting this outstanding value in its “Security of electricity supply report 2018”. With this remarkable confirmation of last year’s result (99.996%), Denmark is again among the leading European countries. According to Energinet, the excellent security value is partly due to the high level of underground cabling in Denmark.

The key features of today’s energy landscape ‒ such as the integration of extensive and increasing wind and solar power capacities, more electricity interconnectors between different countries, or the harmonisation of markets and grid operation via EC regulations ‒ all affect the Danish supply security, which is no longer a national, but a regional issue. Energinet is aware of the new challenges and will adress these with operational and infrastructural measures, but also with the introduction of market reforms to increase the flexibility of both, generation and consumption.

TSCNET shareholder Energinet, the Danish TSO, presents impressive figures in its Security of electricity supply report 2018.

> See Energinet press release, with access to report (html)

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Dutch-British WindConnector


The idea of integrating electricity markets by means of connecting the electrical infrastructure of offshore wind farms is anything but new to TSCNET shareholder TenneT. The Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) has been researching the potential of interconnected offshore wind facilities for quite some time, most prominently in shape of the North Sea Wind Power Hub concept. Together with the Swedish energy group Vattenfall, which is also operating in the UK, TenneT has launched another offshore interconnection project, the WindConnector. In concrete terms, the WindConnector is destined to link a substation in the designated Dutch offshore wind area IJmuiden Ver to one of Vattenfall’s substations in British waters.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly conduct a study on the technical feasibility, the regulatory challenges, and the benefits of such an offshore interconnector. The anticipated benefits to be confirmed by the study are: Enabling increased electricity trading between the Dutch and British markets, multiple and thus more efficient use of the offshore transmission infrastructure, which ultimately leads to a cost-saving effect since the additional investment is less than with a conventional interconnector. Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT, comments on the WindConnector: “The fact that this study is done by a European market player and a European grid operator with both extensive offshore experience will prove to be of great value for the further development of offshore wind energy.”

Illustration based on a graphic on WindConnector by TenneT

> See TenneT press release (html)

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Croatian-Slovenian market coupling in June


A significant step towards an integrated European power market is expected to be taken on 19 June 2018, the scheduled launch date for the Croatian-Slovenian market coupling project. Since spring 2017, the TSCNET shareholders ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO), and HOPS from Croatia have been preparing the market integration to establish day-ahead capacity allocation and congestion management at the Slovenian-Croatian border in accordance with the respective specifications of the European Commission.

In May and June, the partner TSOs will be performing trial runs on the market coupling processes and procedures. From the launch date onwards, capacity for the Croatian-Slovenian border will be implicitly allocated through the Price Coupling of Regions (PCR) solution for the day-ahead markets. This makes the border a part of the Multi-Regional Coupling (MRC) and for the first time, the Croatian bidding zone will be included in the internal European market via the Slovenian bidding zone.

> See ELES press release (html)
> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)
> Open joint press release (pdf, 505kb)

Picture: Croatian-Slovenian boundary river Kupa/Kolpa by Miroslav Vajdic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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