ENTSO-E: Conference on the “System of Systems”

12.10.2020

Today the webinar or rather web conference series of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) under the motto “Vision for the future of the power system” started. The online events with panel discussions focus on the upcoming challenges and opportunities for the European energy system up to 2030 – how can we best contribute to climate neutrality by 2050, how can we put the customer first, and how can we increase the flexibility of the transmission system? The series was kicked off by the two-hour video conference “ENTSO-E’s Vision 2030: major trends and developments”. The core message was clear and ultimately resonated through all the contributions: “We need a multi-layer, multi-player, cross-sector and cross-border coordination, cooperation and integration.”

The first webinar of the series started with an introductory speech by Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General of ENTSO-E. Among the other contributors were Joachim Balke, Head of Unit for Infrastructure and Regional Cooperation in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy, and Morten Petersen, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. Both high-ranking representatives of European energy policy gave keynote speeches. Mr Balke reported on “The Green Deal: Pathways to deliver on the European long-term ambitions”. He stressed the possible synergies and said that we would only be able to achieve our goals if we stopped hesitating and started now. Mr Petersen spoke about “Key milestones on the path to climate neutrality by 2050 and delivering the Green Deal”.

Radical changes ahead
The issues addressed in the other individual presentations related to the ENTSO-E visions of the energy future and dealt with project scenarios in the network development plans, system needs, and the main trends in the energy system identified by ENTSO-E. Dimitrios Chaniotis, Chair of the System Development Committee of ENTSO-E, also described the enormous savings potential for Europe, but also the “significant uptake of HVDC transmission” through the offshore development. Timothée Decroix, Chair of the Policy & Communication Expert Group of ENTSO-E, explained the close linkage between System Operations and Market Design. The system change would be more radical than most people were aware of today. Power transmission grids were of crucial importance, but they could not solve the major tasks ahead on their own.

Damian Cortinas, Vision 2030 Project Leader at ENTSO-E, then came to a kind of conclusion: a “System of Systems” had to be established jointly, in which the Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) such as TSCNET Services were developed into Regional Coordination Centres (RCCs). The success of this system on would depend on four factors in particular: “resilience, forecasts, automation and artificial intelligence”.

Three stakeholder representatives brought various additional aspects to the discussion: Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe (Climate Action Network), Monique Goyens, Director General of the European consumer organisation BEUC, and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General of the industry association Hydrogen Europe. The open discussion that followed, with well over 20 contributions, was also very lively and highlighted many vastly different aspects. By the way, five more ENTSO-E webinars are scheduled in the next two days – it’s worth taking part.

ENTSO-E is hosting a webinar on the future development of the European power system

Linkup
> Open ENTSO-E webinar series webpage (html)

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TSOs of the Central SOR submit RCC proposal

29.07.2020

The EU Regulation on the internal electricity market (2019/943) calls for a higher degree of coordination between transmission system operators (TSOs) at regional level. This is to be achieved through the establishment of Regional Coordination Centres (RCCs). Regulation 2019/943 provides that the future RCCs will act more autonomously in terms of risk prevention than the current Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) like the Munich based TSCNET Services. On 6 April 2020, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) published a decision on the geographical scope of the RCCs (ACER Decision 10/2020) and defined the so-called System Operation Regions (SORs). The TSOs of each SOR were invited to submit a proposal on the establishment of RCCs to the relevant national regulatory authorities (NRAs).

The 19 TSOs of the Central SOR – including all TSCNET shareholders except the non-EU TSO Swissgrid from Switzerland and also three TSCNET customers – now have submitted their joint proposal for the RCC establishment in accordance with Article 35 of Regulation (EU) 2019/943. It was published by the German Federal Network Agency (“Bundesnetzagentur“).  The TSOs’ suggestion is to develop existing RSCs into RCCs by adapting them to comply with the requirements of the EU Regulation. The TSOs are of the opinion that despite their increased autonomy, the future RCCs should have their grid stability measures confirmed by the TSOs. The respective TSOs concerned should be able to carry out reviews where appropriate and to oppose RCC measures on well-founded reasons. This requires an intensive exchange of information between RCCs and TSOs.

The paper proposes working agreements and service contracts as basis for the TSO-RCC cooperation. The core tasks of the RCCs should remain those of the RSCs, such as security analysis, outage planning coordination, capacity calculation, adequacy forecasts, or grid modelling. In addition, the RCCs should assist TSOs in identifying transmission system extension and modernisation priorities. RCCs should also be involved in assessing the extent to which foreign capacity may participate in national capacity mechanisms. A proposal from the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), which is still pending, shall define which tasks the RCCs will perform in determining regional reserve capacity and in the regional procurement of balancing power.

The 19 TSOs of the Central SOR have published a joint proposal on the establishment of RCCs (picture: ENTSO-E)

Linkup
> Open Joint TSO proposal, in German (pdf, 535kb)
> Open ACER decision 10/2020 (pdf, 267.6kb)
> Access to EU-Regulation 2019/943 (html)

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ACER defines System Operation Regions

08.04.2020

To promote the implementation of the EU Regulation on the internal electricity market (2019/943), which is part of the “Clean Energy Package for all Europeans”, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) has just published an important decision. A significant part of the EU Regulation 2019/943 is Article 36 on the “Geographical scope of Regional Coordination Centres (RCCs)” and this is the very subject of the recent ACER decision, that defines this “geographical scope” – the so-called System Operation Regions (SORs).

Regulation 2019/943 calls for a higher level of coordination between transmission system operators (TSOs) at regional level. This is to be achieved by further developing Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) such as TSCNET Services into RCCs. The ACER definition of the SORs is the first step towards establishing the RCCs. The tasks of the RCCs are defined in Article 37 of the EU Regulation. Like RSCs, they are to identify and assess potential risks in support of the respective TSO in their area of responsibility. However, while RSCs leave the responsibility for implementing these recommendations to the TSOs, Article 37 provides for future RCCs to act more autonomously in terms of risk prevention.

Acer stresses that, despite some changes, it has broadly agreed to the proposal for the definition of SORs made by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) on behalf of the TSOs, which in particular takes into account the synchronous areas in the meshed European grid. The next step will be taken by the TSOs of each SOR, which are invited to submit a proposal on the establishment of RCCs to the relevant national regulatory authority (NRA) by 5 July.

ACER has published its decision on the configuration of the future SORs (picture showing ACER Director Christian Zinglersen at the Bonn Climate Change Conference (IISD))

Linkup
> See ACER press release (html)
> Open ACER decision 10/2020 (pdf, 267,58kb)
> Access to EU-Regulation 2019/943 (html)

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Regional Coordination Centre for South-East Europe

18.07.2019

The three transmission system operators (TSOs) of the South-East Europe Capacity Calculation Region (CCR) – TSCNET shareholder Transelectrica from Romania, ESO from Bulgaria and IPTO from Greece – have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on establishing a Regional Coordination Centre (RCC). The memorandum emphasises the ambition of the TSOs to strengthen regional cooperation and thus contribute to the safety and efficiency of the European transmission system.

The agreement provides a cooperation framework between the three contracting parties with the common objective of finding a mutually acceptable solution for the implementation of an RCC on the principle of meeting the requirements of the Third European Energy Package and the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package as efficiently, effectively and timely as possible. The MoU sets a time frame for the core decisions. The SEE capacity calculator is to be determined as early as 4 August 2019 and the necessary documents for the founding of the RCC are to be signed by the end of the year.

The three TSOs of the South-East Europe CCR have signed a MoU on establishing an RCC (picture of the “New Europe Bridge” connecting Romania and Bulgaria across the Danube by Erich Westendarp, Pixabay).

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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