How the European electricity market functions, the intricacies of its operation and how ENTSO-E member countries keep their power systems balanced were some of the things that Ukrenergo experts learned during a five-day study tour to the ENTSO-E participating TSOs Energinet ( Denmark), 50Hertz (one of the four German TSOs) and PSE (Poland).
The tour was part of Ukrenergo’s Cooperation Beyond Membership Programme for 2019-2021, signed in February 2019. The programme aims to strengthen cooperation with Transmission System Operators (TSOs) through targeted staff training, learning from the experience and trends in the EU energy markets.
Our Danish counterparts at Energinet shared their experience of balancing the grid in the presence of a significant portion of renewables in the generation mix (about 70%), as well as using a common model of cross-border flow calculations in parallel operation of the Danish grid with Finland, Sweden and Norway. A high level of automation (digitisation) of the Danish TSO’s operational processes was also noted, ranging from big data analysis, smart distribution technologies to virtual reality tools, which are also tools to ensure operational efficiency and transmission system reliability.
Ukrenergo team also participated in the annual Regional Security Conference 2019 held in Copenhagen. The attendees spoke about how the EU’s power industry is shifting towards more decentralised markets with a greater number of participants and RES share, and the key challenges associated with it. It was noted that such a transformation would require coordinated risk forecasting and electricity market development scenarios. This will be facilitated by deepening of the relationship between the TSOs and the creation of a Regional Cooperation Council.
50 Hertz’s Berlin HQ has shared their experience in strategic planning and forecasting: capacity allocation here is planned 3-5 years ahead, and the mechanism of compensation of cross-border flows is so well-established that the German TSO is able to plan their allocation with confidence.
Most European capacity auctions, including cross-border ones, are held for exports or imports of electricity at the Joint Allocation Office, based in Germany.
During the visit to Poland’s PSE in Warsaw, our dispatch controllers could watch how the dispatch control centre operates, how things run in our Polish colleagues, what tasks they need to solve in the course of their shift.
Given our strategic goal of integrating the grid into ENTSO-E, this form of cooperation and training helps better understand the particular aspects of the European electricity market and the requirements that Ukrenergo as a TSO should fulfill in its parallel operation within the European energy association.