ENTSO-E pledges for climate-neutral, resilient, innovative European recovery

The Green Deal represents an unprecedented energy and societal transition with a massive deployment of large-scale renewable sources, innovative low carbon technologies, deeper electrification, new electrical uses, and energy system integration. ENTSO-E welcomes the European Commission’s strategy to gear all policies towards achieving a climate-neutral, resilient and innovative EU. The European TSOs stand ready to do their part to help the green recovery.

During the COVID-19 crisis, TSOs have demonstrated their unfailing solidarity and entire commitment to deliver electricity to all EU consumers and vital services. This unprecedented crisis should not deter EU and national Governments to deliver on the Green Deal as it is core to the European economic recovery. For the green recovery to be a success, ENTSO-E recommends EU policy makers to:

1/ recognize the key-enabling role of electricity TSOs in the energy system integration. As system operators, grid planners & developers, and as market facilitators, TSOs can drive Europe’s energy ecosystem towards a “system of interconnected systems” starting with the development of a multi-sectorial approach to grid planning and anticipatory investment for both onshore and offshore networks.

2/ put electrification at the heart of EU decarbonization policies. Electricity is the dominant vector for clean energy and the electricity transmission network will play a central role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

3/ invest in low-carbon and fit-for-purpose infrastructures and their digital “twins”. Investing in the adequate extension of the transmission network and in the “cyber physical” power system delivers value for the whole society in terms of competitiveness, resilience and sustainability. Innovation is essential and especially in areas that will help most the transformation materialize.

4/ ensure a smooth recovery of the whole electricity value chain. The lockdown measures impacted the whole electricity sector. Risk of shortage in strategic value chains and of critical materials should be monitored and addressed. This is also about strengthening Europe’s industrial and strategic autonomy.

Investing in the transmission grid helps move the energy transition forward and concretely supports Europe’s economic recovery by generating direct and indirect revenues throughout the planning and building phase, and by reducing price differentials between regions and the overall energy costs. Policy makers’ and stakeholders’ support is needed to overcome barriers to the needed extension and upgrading of the transmission power network, notably when it comes to facilitating the permitting process.

ENTSO-E and its members are committed to put their expertise at the service of decision makers to turn the EU Green Deal into reality and believe that these recommendations will contribute to the climate-neutral, resilient and innovative recovery of the European economy.

IPTO: Thessaloniki RSC headquarters for southeast Europe in July

A Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) role for Thessaloniki planned by Greek power grid operator IPTO with its Romanian and Bulgarian peers, Transelectrica and ESO-EAD, respectively, will be ready for launch, from its headquarters in the northern Greek city, in the first week of July, energypress sources have informed.

IPTO chief executive Manos Manousakis has declared the headquarters for southeast Europe’s RSC will be in Thessaloniki.

The Thessaloniki RSC plan was established by the Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian operators following years of negotiations with ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity.

According to EU law, all European operators must, as of 2020, hand over a list of responsibilities to one regional security coordinator with headquarters at an EU member state.

These responsibilities include capacity calculation coordination, common network model development and regional security coordination.

Thessaloniki RSC autonomy threatened by ACER plan

A Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) for electricity in southeast Europe formed by Greece’s power grid operator IPTO with its Romanian and Bulgarian peers, Transelectrica and ESO-EAD, respectively, before Italy’s grid operator also joined and a decision was reached to establish Thessaloniki as its headquarters, is in jeopardy of losing is independence and operating as a subsidiary of a centralized unit covering all of Europe.

This plan has been proposed by ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, energypress sources have informed.

More specifically, ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, had proposed a plan entailing the establishment of four regional centers, prompting the partnership between Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.

However, ACER now supports that new regulations call for a more coordinated solution that considers all of Europe as one security operational region. Particular regional needs could be dealt with through subsidiaries, according to ACER.

A decision is expected in April. The ACER proposal has alarmed Greek authorities as its adoption would undermine efforts made by IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, the energy ministry and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, to establish an independent center.

ENTSO-E: Greece in good position to meet energy demands this winter

Greece is in a good position to meet its energy demands this coming winter, even under unfavorable conditions, without import needs for most of the season, ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, has noted in its annual report.

The second half of December and January will be the most crucial period, the report noted, adding that RES curtailment is not expected to be needed in Greece.

Overall, the EU is ready to meet the winter’s energy demands, barring extraordinary conditions, according to the ENTSO-E report.

Temperatures 10 degrees Celsius below normal levels, combined with unanticipated capacity losses and low RES output, would create problems in Belgium and France in January, the report forecast. If so, these member states will need to depend on energy imports and possibly need to take emergency measures, it added.

ENTSO-E releases updated electricity demand forecasts for Greece

An updated ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) report anticipating Greek electricity demand levels for the next ten years offers differing results compared to a ten-year forecast presented earlier this year by IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator.

The IPTO report forecast total electricity demand in Greece would reach 52,600 GWh this year, 57,100 GWh in 2020 and 60,930 GWh in 2025.

The ENTSO-E forecast expects demand to reach 55,903 GWh in 2020 and 68,421 GWh in 2025.

As for natural gas demand, the European network forecast a steady trajectory in Greece until 2020.

EFET files complaint against Greek, Bulgarian operators

The European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) has filed a complaint to the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) against the Greek and Bulgarian power grid operators, noting that the two are restricting trans-boundary trade between the two countries.

EFET described the conduct of IPTO, Greece’s power grid operator, and ESO, its Bulgarian counterpart, as abuse of their dominant positions in natural monopolies.

The complaint filed by EFET was prompted by IPTO’s decision to ban electricity exports on January 11 and 12 and ETO’s ensuing electricity export ban, which began on January 13.

EFET noted that the trans-boundary trade restrictions imposed led to the violation of guaranteed rights concerning interconnection access.

In its complaint, the federation also pointed out that the export ban negatively impacted market players who do not have access to alternative electricity sources, prompting significant financial damages for certain producers.

This EFET complaint is the first to be filed as a result of the developments prompted by the energy crisis in early January. As a result, both IPTO and ETO are now both being closely watched by European authorities.