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ENTSO-E Chairman “looks back to look forward”

Joachim Vanzetta, Chair of the Board for ENTSO-E, believes that the TSOs in ENTSO-E will continue to strive to find the right balance between the dimensions of the energy trilemma: sustainability, affordability and security of supply/system security.  
Joachim Vanzetta, Chair of the Board for ENTSO-E.

Joachim Vanzetta, points out that ENTSO-E, along with ENTSOG and ACER, were all created by the Third Energy Package in 2009.

“Through the collective work of experts in these institutions, we have Europe at work, every day – discussing, developing rules, tools and platforms as building blocks of the EU Internal Energy Market and the Energy Union,” he says.

Since the start in 2009, ENTSO-E has developed rules and tools for the EU internal energy market – 8 network codes and guidelines. “This set of rules drafted by ENTSO-E facilitates the harmonisation, integration and efficiency of the European electricity market and contributes to meeting the EU climate and energy targets and delivering benefits to society.”

Delivering results

Pascale Fonck, Vice-Chair of the Board at ENTSO-E.

Pascale Fonck, Vice-Chair of the Board at ENTSO-E, agrees that the organization has delivered a lot, on various fields. “One very important deliverable is the drafting of network codes.”

There’s been constant evolution in the mandated tasks of ENTSO-E and this will continue onwards. Fonck sees this as a sign of trust: ENTSO-E has been able to handle its responsibilities well.

“We can be proud of the results, but the challenges ahead are still big.”

Joachim Vanzetta also brings up regional coordination for system security: TSO cooperation is not only taking place at the European level. “TSOs’ regional coordination is also crucial and started bottom-up.”

In fact, European and regional cooperation has been in the core of the TSOs’ work since decades already, he notes.

“We have proactively developed initiatives and tools to cooperate effectively and have proven that our cooperation also works even in most critical situations, such as the solar eclipse in March 2015, the dryness period in August 2015, or the cold spell in February 2017.”

Focus on grid planning

Another issue of great significance that Vanzetta mentions is common grid planning: during the last decade, ENTSO-E delivered five long term network development plans (the so-called TYNDPs) as well as 8 security of supply assessments such as mid-term adequacy forecasts (the so-called MAFs).

A Cornerstone: With regards to data & digitalization, a major deliverable is the Common Grid Model – an unprecedented, pan-European IT programme that will allow TSOs to exchange data continuously and contribute to increase security of supply as well as support electricity trades cross border.

“This programme requires a dedicated physical network and a secure information exchange environment as well as a large standardization effort. IT and cybersecurity will continue to be cornerstones of TSOs’ cooperation for years to come.”

Make it transparent!

According to Vanzetta, also the creation of a “transparency platform” has been key in the success of ENTSO-E. It facilitates transparency of market information for the implementation of the internal energy market and the creation of efficient, liquid and competitive wholesale markets.

“The transparency platform supports the creation of a level playing field between market participants,” he says.

All through this, close work with key stakeholders – at both European and national level – has been instrumental in supporting ENTSO-E’s work on developing robust and well-received proposals.

“Since 2015, we’ve had more than 200 public consultations.”

Get ready for the future

ENTSO-E’s tagline ”Reliable. Sustainable. Connected” provides great perspective and momentum into the future, as was apparent from the TSOs’ CEO video greeting at the Conference.

Looking ahead, Vanzetta believes that the work and contribution of ENTSO-E and the TSO community to society at large will be more widely recognized by the Clean Energy Package.

“The CEP gives a number of new mandates to ENTSO-E, including Risk Preparedness, Pan-European resource adequacy assessment, Regional Coordination Centres, a tool to facilitate cross-border participation in capacity mechanisms, among many others,” he lists.

“We’re looking forward to a new decade of successful cooperation.”



New game-changer: Adding IQ into regulation

Robert Schroeder, ENTSO-E’s Managing Director for System Development, showcased some Powerfacts for the conference participants.

Driven by e.g. increase in electric cars and heat pumps, the Green Deal is taking shape. New developments include the synchronization of Baltic states by 2025 and substantial investments in offshore grids: according to estimates, there will be a 60 % increase in European interconnector capacity by 2025.

According to plans, carbon neutral power sector is achieved by 2040, with energy system achieving carbon neutrality in 2050.

“This is feasible, but various questions remain,” commented Schroeder.

Addressing the present, managing the grid is a day-to-day effort, with about eight minor incidents occurring daily.

Planning 2.0

Fabien Roques, Head of the European Energy practice, FTI-Compass Lexecon, added some facts of his own. “One of the big issues is a potential disconnect between regulations and what can be done on the ground.”

He noted that there is deep uncertainty on energy vectors and the associated needs for decarbonization. Furthermore, the risk of stranded assets needs to be limited via regulation. The need to be resilient is paramount.

“We need integrated/cross sector planning with holistic approach, instead of the traditional approach to planning.”  Also ‘low regret” options need to be identified better and utilized when need be.

According to Roques, further market integration requires coordination of policies on key issues. ”Smart infrastructure needs smart regulation.”

In his mind, local flexibility markets are promising, but pose challenges too.



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