Electricity Balancing

The Electricity Balancing Guideline is about creating a market where countries can share the resources used by their transmission system operators to make generation equal demand always. It is also about allowing new players such as demand response and renewables to take part in this market. All in all, the Balancing Guideline should help increase security of supply, limit emissions and diminish costs to customers.

Read the provisional guideline

Current Status
Validated by Member States, awaiting validation by European Parliament and Council and entry into force

Implementation - Making the code a reality

Frequency Restoration Reserves with automatic activa...

The Platform for the International Coordination of Automated Frequency Restoration and Stable System Operation (PICASSO) is a regional project initiated by eight TSOs from five countries.

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Imbalance Netting (IGCC)

TSOs have started Imbalance Netting cooperation with focus on the pilot projects “International Grid Control Cooperation” (IGCC), “e-GCC” and the “Imbalance Netting Cooperation” (INC).

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Replacement Reserves (TERRE)

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Manual Frequency Restoration Reserves mFRR (MARI)

Manually Activated Reserves Initiative (MARI) is the European implementation project for the creation of the European mFRR platform.

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Latest Updates (4)

Events (19)

European Stakeholder Committee

History & Development of the network code

View network code development information

Below you will find the Frequently asked questions relating to the network code Electricity Balancing.

Electricity Balancing is one of the key roles of Transmission System Operators where they act to ensure that generation equals demand in real time. This is vital for ensuring security of supply and has an important bearing on costs to customers. The potential for balancing resources to be effectively shared between countries can enhance security of supply and reduce cost, hence there is a strong rationale for developing cross border balancing markets. The network code on Electricity Balancing will ensure that the correct framework will be put in place for this to happen.

Latest Update (December 2016)

An updated draft of the Electricity Balancing guidelines will be discussed in the next electricity cross-border committee. Use the link below to view the EC draft version sent to the electricity cross-border committee in October 2016.

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December 2015

On 22 July 2015, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, ACER, recommended the Network Code on Electricity Balancing for adoption. On 23 December 2013, ENTSO-E delivered the Network Code on Electricity Balancing (NC EB) and Supporting Document to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). ACER provided its reasoned opinion on the Network Code on 23 March 2014.

ENTSO-E studied the reasoned opinion in detail. On 16 September ENTSO-E submitted a new version of NC EB, together with explanatory documents. Based on this resubmission, ACER issued a recommendation to adopt the code, along with amendments proposals. With a few exceptions, the NC EB is perfectly in line with the Framework Guidelines on Electricity Balancing. These exceptions, such as the implementation deadline for the European integration model, are motivated by ENTSO-E members experience as grid operators, and by their commitment to delivering ambitious but realistic codes.

The NC EB is a crucial piece of work that will greatly enhance Europe’s security of supply. By harmonising electricity balancing rules, trading of balancing resources between European TSOs will be facilitated; leading to a more efficient use of resources available, a reduction of costs and an increase in security of supply.

Given the complexity of balancing, its key role in European security of supply, and the low level of current European harmonisation, the NC EB is one of the most forward looking and ambitious network code so far.

ENTSO-E would like to thank all stakeholders who provided valuable contributions to the process, as well as colleagues from the European Commission, ACER and National Regulatory Authorities for the constructive cooperation during the development of NC EB.

The documents are available for download in the Related Documents and Links section below.

What Happens Next?

The Network Code will now be prepared by experts from the European Commission before it enters the Comitology process, through which it should become European law. ENTSO-E will assist both ACER and the European Commission in any way throughout this process in order to contribute to a smooth adoption.

Early implementation

Network codes need to be finalised and adopted by Member States, and are therefore expected to evolve over time. TSOs have however decided to begin the early implementation of a number of projects, as suggested by regulators. This will contribute to faster delivery of the IEM. ENTSO-E has proposed several cross border pilot projects with the purpose of:

  • Testing the feasibility of the European (target) model and intermediate steps established in the ACER Framework Guidelines on Electricity Balancing (FG EB);
  • Evaluating the associated implementation impact;
  • Reporting on the experience gained.

More information at Cross Border Electricity Balancing Pilot Projects.

ENTSO-E also started working on other aspects of the ambitious path towards harmonised balancing markets in Europe. In March 2015, ENTSO-E launched a public consultation on the methodology for Cost Benefit Analysis.

Public Consultation on draft Network Code on Electricity Balancing

From 16 June to 16 August 2013, ENTSO-E held a public consultation on the draft Network Code on Electricity Balancing (NC EB). By the end of the nine-week consultation period, more than 40 stakeholders had submitted a total of 2178 individual comments via the web-based consultation tool.

Stakeholder Engagement

ENTSO-E’s stakeholder engagement comprises of Stakeholder Advisory Group Meetings and Public Stakeholder Workshops, as well as ad-hoc meetings and exchange of views with any interested party as appropriate. The Electricity Balancing Stakeholder Advisory Group (EBSAG) members represent all relevant parts of the industry as well as consumers, to enable efficient and effective discussion on the process and content of the Network Code on Electricity Balancing. The EBSAG member organisation list may be viewed here and the Terms of Reference here.

ENTSO-E has hosted a total of four EBSAG meetings and three public stakeholder workshops on the NC EB. The latest public workshop was held in Brussels on 23 October to present and discuss the feedback received during the public consultation. This also served as an opportunity to discuss the changes made to the code in response to stakeholder feedback.

All material, including minutes and presentations from meetings are made public.

Pilot Projects

Cross Border Electricity Balancing Pilot Projects

​​​​​​​​Electricity balancing is crucial to ensure security of supply and has an important bearing on costs for consumers. Compared to other electricity market timeframes, balancing markets represent only 2-3% of the total turnover volume of wholesale markets; nevertheless, in a recent report commissioned by the European Commission, the potential gains are shown for balancing resources to be effectively shared between countries, enhancing security of supply and reducing costs, whilst using resources more efficiently. This represents a strong rationale for developing cross border balancing markets.

Moreover, a cross border balancing market will help to counteract the effects of intermittent generation and allow the integration of more renewable energy sources.

While the integration of the European energy markets follows rather clear target models – as for capacity allocation rules set out in the binding guidelines on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM) and the Network Code on Forward Capacity Allocation (NC FCA) – different kinds of balancing services have not yet been detailed. The ENTSO-E Survey on Ancillary Services Procurement and Balancing Market design, published in 2012, shows the diversity in current balancing markets and highlights the challenge for harmonisation.

The future Network Code on Electricity Balancing (NC EB) will lay out the processes for developing market based co-operation and implementing the steps towards regional and European integration which will, in turn, allow for the achievement of efficiency gains while also maintaining operational security.

ENTSO-E fully supports the proposed European Balancing Market (EBM) and has proposed several cross border pilot projects with the purpose of:

  • Testing the feasibility of the European (target) model and intermediate steps established in the ACER Framework Guidelines on Electricity Balancing (FG EB);
  • Evaluating the associated implementation impact;
  • Reporting on the experience gained.

What is the obje​ctive?

The detailed objectives of the pilot projects are:

  • To gain bottom-up experience for the implementation of the different steps towards a EBM;
  • To create awareness of the EBM, provide information to stakeholders and receive constructive feedback;
  • To gain experience of product definitions and pricing mechanisms (to support proposals to be sent to ACER one year after entry into force of the NC EB);
  • To identify and overcome barriers during actual implementation related to regulatory issues, IT developments (specification / design of the common cross border balancing platform, analysis of IT changes at national level), cost recognition, interaction of the balancing market with future European intraday energy market (updating of balancing bids, interaction with the cross border capacity management modules);
  • To analyse governance issues - roles and responsibilities regarding cross border platform management, cross border interconnection capacity management, settlement between TSOs, etc.;
  • To provide an insight into which aspects are to be harmonised and to what degree;
  • To provide an insight into social welfare definition and monitoring in order to gain experience about net benefits (cost/benefit reports) at different levels (national, regional etc.);
  • To test the feasibility of the different milestones in the draft Network Code on Electricity Balancing and to test the impact of the long term target.The scope of the feasibility analysis includes issues such as regulatory changes, analysis of changes made to existing processes, and impact on the design of existing markets as well as any operational impacts.

Overview of the on-going pilot projects

Reporting​​

The following reports include the main information regarding each pilot project and include a description of the implementation of targets relevant to the Network code on Electricity Balancing (NC EB). Alongside these updates on additional achievements are also listed.

Pilot Project - Contacts

A list of contacts from TSOs/ENTSO-E and NRAs/ACER for Pilot Projects is available.

Download the list of pilot project c​on​tacts

Stakeholder Involvement

Cross Border Balancing Pilot Projects Stakeholder Meetings:

Date Meeting Agenda Presentations
17/12/14 Third Agenda

General presentation
Pilot Project 2
Pilot Project 4

11/09/14 Second Agenda

General presentation
Pilot Project 1
Pilot Project 5
Pilot Project 7

14/05/14 First Agenda

General presentation
Pilot Projects 1&9
Pilot Project 3

Project-specific stakeholder events

Project & Event Related documents
Project TERRE Regional stakeholder event, 11 May 2015, Brussels (Project 4)

The TERRE project is currently the leading pilot project for Replacement Reserves and aims to explore the feasibility of concepts contained in the Electricity Balancing Network Code. The event attracted an audience of over 50 stakeholders, consisting of market participants, National Regulatory Authorities and interested parties from across Europe. There was a good level of engagement and audience participation throughout the day, with positive feedback from stakeholders. TSOs will look to organise subsequent stakeholder events as the project progresses through its design phase.

Presentation

SPOC Contact List

Pilot Project 7

The first workshop on this pilot project took place on 1 February 2013 and was attended by representatives from market parties, regulators and authorities from the Netherlands and Belgium.

On June 13th of 2014 TenneT and Elia organized a second stakeholder workshop to present and discuss the intermediate findings of Step 2.

More Information

Pilot Project 1
Pilot Project 7
Pilot Project 9

IGCC Press Release TenneT

On 3 November 2014, the members of the IGCC organised a public stakeholder workshop, which was attended by representatives of market players, regulators and relevant authorities

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