TenneT announces to expand interconnections


In Germany as well as in the Netherlands, wholesale electricity prices are comparatively low. According to TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), this correlates with the general observation by TenneT, that countries with high-capacity connections to other countries have lower wholesale power prices. TenneT will thus make great efforts to expand the interconnections between Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

This information is part of the TenneT Market Review 2017, a profound analysis of market developments for both national electricity markets of the Dutch-German company. Further significant findings are that wind has become the second most important source of energy in Germany, and the renewables are increasingly competitive in the Netherlands as well. In particular, offshore wind energy has made an absolute breakthrough on the Dutch market.

> See TenneT Holding B.V. press release (html)
> See TenneT TSO GmbH press release, in German (html)

Picture: Screenshot taken from video “Doetinchem Wesel” (TenneT, YouTube)

See article on single page

Split market in Germany?


The “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, one of Germany’s leading daily papers, issued a profound article on the future of the German electricity market. No later than 2022, when the last of the nuclear power plants in southern Germany is due for shutdown, the central European country is in danger of becoming divided into two energy zones – and two price zones: The industrially highly developed and therefore energy consuming south and the structurally weaker but renewable energy producing north.

The initial and obvious plan for the energy market in Germany was to built sufficient extra-high voltage lines to transport electricity from the north to the south, often referred to as “Stromautobahnen” (“Electricity highways”, primarily the SuedLink-line from Schleswig-Holstein to Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg and the SuedOstLink-line from Saxony-Anhalt to Bavaria). After protests in the public and reservations on the part of the Bavarian government the federal government decided that for new power lines underground cables have to be favoured over overhead lines. While this definitely turned out as helpful to increase the acceptance of new power lines within the German public, it is going to make new line constructions more expensive and more time-consuming. The Bundesnetzagentur (German Federal Network Agency) has recently published a report on the progress of the grid expansion. The Agency assumes that in consequence of the modified specifications the completion of the new power lines is not to be expected before 2025.

Lex Hartmann, managing director of the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) and TSC member TenneT, told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” that already now situations occur where TenneT is unable to transport all the energy produced. This makes cost-intensive interventions indispensable like the turning down of wind farms or the short-term commissioning of power plants. The earlier the new power lines are ready for use, the less interventions would be necessary – leading to less costs for the energy transition. Hartmann adds that if Germany does not succeed with the grid expansion, different “price zones could be the only solution”. It goes without saying that two independent energy zones with ample and cheap electricity from wind farms in the north of Germany and scarce and expensive electricity in the south are only little desirable. But at least this prospect might strengthen the efforts to accelerate the German grid expansion.

> See article in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung“, in German (html)

Picture: TenneT

See article on single page

APG takes a share in HGRT


As announced yesterday, TSC member APG, the Austrian transmission system operator (TSO), entered the share capital of Holding des Gestionnaires de Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (HGRT). The company currently holds a 49% equity stake in the European Power Exchange (EPEX).

> See APG press release (html)

See article on single page

Extended power exchange


The Dutch-German transmission system operator and TSC member TenneT concentrates its interests in the APX power exchange (70.8%) and EPEX SPOT (9% via HGRT holding) into EPEX SPOT to create a power exchange for the entire Central Western Europe (CWE) region and the United Kingdom. This agreement was reached between the shareholders of both exchanges (next to TenneT, the Belgian TSO Elia, and the French TSO RTE).

> See TenneT press release (html)


See article on single page

Largest PCP market


Transmission system operators (TSOs) need primary control power (PCP) to compensate an imbalance between generation and consumption automatically within a few seconds. It gets provided by power plants. Now the TSOs of Austria (APG), Germany (50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT Germany, TransnetBW), the Netherlands (Tennet Netherlands), and Switzerland (Swissgrid) have opened Europe’s largest consistent market for PCP with a total of 783 megawatts. This measure is supposed to cut costs and to increase security of supply.

> See APG press release (html, in German)

> See TransnetBW press release (html, in German)

See article on single page

French and German power markets


Two new country profiles commissioned by Agora, a German “think tank and policy laboratory that focuses on dialogue with energy policymakers”, delineate France’s and Germany’s power systems. Both reports describing e.g. regulatory systems and country specific energy policies can be downloaded for free.

> See Agora news release (html)

> Open Agora “Report on the German power system” (pdf, 1.7 mb)

> Open Agora “Report on the French power system” (pdf, 901 kb)

See article on single page