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.