Winter 2018/19: supply largely secured – monitoring required


Where are congestions most likely to occur? What are the most important risks to the stability of the pan-European electrical transmission system and supply security in the upcoming winter? As every year, the Winter Outlook 2018/2019 – the supply security forecast of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) – tries to answer these and other significant questions as validly as possible in order to provide a reliable risk assessment for the next European electricity winter.

Good news first: The risks to the security of supply in the approaching cold season are moderate and supply is secured under normal conditions. Nevertheless, close monitoring is required in the event of cold spells. ENTSO-E pays particular attention to an area including Belgium, France, northern Italy, central northern Italy and Slovenia, which is partly due to unforeseen and delayed maintenance of production units in Belgium. In particular in January and February, monitoring will be necessary in the event of outages in connection with low wind and solar energy generation.

The Winter Outlook considers a number of factors that are relevant to safety analysis, such as hydro reservoirs, gas supply and changes in generation. This year’s edition reveals that the decline in conventional generation is persisting, while the increase in installed renewable generation capacity is higher than last winter. As usual, ENTSO-E presents the Winter Outlook together with an overview of the events of previous summer, that was characterised by far above-average temperatures, especially in northern and eastern Europe. This led to some local electricity supply disruptions in the Czech Republic, Croatia and Greece.

ENTSO-E has released the Winter Outlook 2018/2019, a consistent analysis of EU-wide risks to supply security

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Open Winter Outlook 2018/2019 (pdf, 5.23MB)

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ENTSO-E expects secure supply this winter


The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) recently has published its supply security forecast on the forthcoming winter season, the Winter Outlook 2017/18. ENTSO-E’s Winter Outlooks always have been unique in their comprehensive pan-European and system-wide approach, but this year’s edition is more refined than previous ones, since it takes account of valuable lessons from last winter, when an unforeseen cold spell and low availability of French nuclear generation caused a dual effect.

The Winter Outlook 2017/18 considers extreme situations that are likely to occur only in one year out of twenty, thereby covering more potential risks. Also regarded are European hydro reservoir levels and the impacts of a possible gas shortage to the security of electricity supply. Assuming normal conditions, the European supply security is not jeopardised, which is the positive message of the ENTSO-E Winter Outlook 2017/18. But then again, this does not exclude that under severe conditions comparable to those of last winter, several countries, namely Great Britain, France, Belgium, Poland and Italy, could face supply problems mainly during the second week of January.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html, with access to Outlook)


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European transmission system “winter-proof”


On 29 November, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has published its Winter Outlook 2016/17, a supply security forecast on the forthcoming winter season. The document offers a detailed and consistent analysis of possible EU-wide menaces to the security of electricity supply. Good news first: Taking the possibilities of cross-border trade into account – with surpluses from one country covering shortages in another – ENTSO-E is positive that the EU states will have no problems in meeting the demand.

The ENTSO-E Winter Outlook is based on an EU-wide modelling of generation resources, customer demands and flexibility resources. It is a valuable tool for the European transmission system operators (TSOs) to gain information on the condition of the Europe-wide transmission system and on the operating status of neighbouring TSOs.

Since renewable energy sources have been expanded significantly, ENTSO-E expects an increase of 11GW in comparison to the total generation capacity of last winter. Political turmoils in eastern Europe are not seen as a threat to the good overall situation. According to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), a possible interruption of gas transit through the Ukraine should have no impact on the security of electricity supply. Still, there is one fly in the ointment. Due to safety tests and maintenance, thirteen of altogether 58 French nuclear plants will probably be unavailable in December 2016 and nine in early 2017. This results in the lowest nuclear power generation in France of the last ten years and potentially in a tense situation within the French transmission system that could affect neighbouring countries.

> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

> Open ENTSO-E Winter Outlook 2016/17 and Summer Review 2016 (pdf, 4.5mb)


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