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Brussels in brief, WW200904

Transmission System Operators to work more closely together

16.04.2009

Traditionally, those in charge of transmitting electrical power from generation plants to regional electricity distribution operators – the Transmission System Operators, or TSOs – have worked independently of one another in their respective synchronous areas. This is set to change with the establishment of a new group, the ‘European Network for Transmission System Operators’ (ENTSO-E) as proposed in the EU’s third energy market liberalisation package. The network will require TSOs to work together to begin to develop and operate their networks as part of a single EU grid.

One of the ENTSO-E’s main tasks will be to develop and draft binding EU ‘network codes’. A network code is a common set of rules for all industry players on cross-border electricity transmission which ensure fair competition and which should eventually facilitate the creation of a EU-wide internal electricity market. To this end these codes will cover market, operation and grid development issues while ensuring the highest possible reliability.

ENTSO-E’s other tasks will include writing a 10-year network development plan every two years, making yearly European generation adequacy outlooks on whether the power system can supply current and projected demands in the short and medium term, developing common network operation tools, writing an annual report and work programme and two-yearly regional investment plans.

42 TSOs from 34 countries are currently involved in setting up ENTSO-E prior to the adoption of the third liberalisation package, in order to speed up the delivery of the tasks mentioned above. Consequently, ENTSO-E should be fully operational by May this year and deliberations on its first 10-year network development plan and the design of network codes are already ongoing.

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