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Splitting of the German-Austrian bidding zone is needed


A joint study elaborated by electricity transmission system operators (TSOs) of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia analyses the factors causing the phenomenon of unplanned power flows in the region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The study provides evidence that cross-border transactions concluded within the common German-Austrian bidding zone induce significant unplanned power flows in the CEE region.

The study proves concerns announced earlier by ČEPS, MAVIR, PSE and SEPS and reinforces their calls for the change of the current market design in the CEE region, primarily as regards the redefinition of the German Austrian bidding zone. Future arrangements for cross-border trade shall ensure that the burden of unplanned power flows currently borne by Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary shall be taken over by the ones who cause it. In the view of 4 CEE TSOs, correct market design for the future cross-border capacity calculation and allocation mechanism must reflect interdependencies between exchanged trade volumes and the resulting impact on power flows in the interconnected European power system. In the view of ČEPS, MAVIR, PSE and SEPS, only a correctly applied Flow-Based methodology is able to meet this requirement. This can be achieved however only if the bidding zones´ delimitation is changed or if the implementation of the Flow-Based Market Coupling is accompanied by other measures that mitigate the negative impact of unplanned flows.

This is the second joint analysis of the Czech (ČEPS), Hungarian (MAVIR), Polish (PSE) and Slovak (SEPS) TSOs focused on the issue of unplanned power flows in the context of zonal market design and primarily the existing common German-Austrian market area. Compared to the first study (Position on Bidding Zones Definition released in March 2012), which presented several recommendations for further steps to be taken in order to efficiently tackle the issue of unplanned flows, this study brings numerical evidence and provides analysis of the consequences of unplanned flows with the use of real data.

The results of the study reveal a very strong relationship between commercial cross-border exchanges within the common German-Austrian bidding zone and the occurrence of unplanned flows in the CEE region. When these commercial exchanges were low, unplanned flows through neighbouring grids were also. However, when the aforementioned commercial transactions reached high levels, primarily Poland and the Czech Republic had to combat high levels of unplanned power flows endangering the security of their transmission systems. In such situations, up to 50% of commercially scheduled exchanges between Germany and Austria physically flew through the neighbouring grids, forcing the concerned TSOs to take emergency remedial measures in order to ensure security of supply.

The study may be downloaded here.

More information:


ČEPS, a.s. as a holder of an electricity transmission licence issued by the Energy Regulatory Office in accordance with the Energy Act, is the sole Czech Transmission System Operator. The Company is responsible for the maintenance and upgrading of 41 substations comprising 71 transformers allowing electricity to be supplied from the transmission system to the distribution grid, as well as of 400kV lines with a total length of 3008km and 220kV lines with a total length of 1349km. ČEPS is a member of relevant European international organisations. The Company is responsible for maintaining the national balance of electricity supply and demand in real time (system services) and for organising cross-border power exchanges including transits. ČEPS has traditionally been involved in the creation of liberalised electricity markets both within the Czech Republic and Europe. Additional information is available on www.ceps.cz.


MAVIR Magyar Villamosenergia-ipari Átviteli Rendszerirányító Zártkörűen Működő Részvénytársaság [MAVIR Hungarian Independent Transmission Operator Company Ltd., MAVIR ZRt.] is a young organization with great traditions and vast experience. Tradition, experience and youth in this case are not contradictory: before the establishment of MAVIR, the National Power Dispatch Centre had been performing the technical tasks of system operation since November 1949. By creation of the integrated transmission system operator (TSO) on 1st January, 2006 the transmission system operator incorporated the Division for Network Operation from National Power Line Company Ltd. and Division for Transmission Network from Hungarian Power Companies Ltd. A highly skilled team of experts, who love their profession and pursue it on a high level have joined MAVIR ZRt., which is more than the old dispatch centre: today MAVIR ZRt.’s duties, are as follows:
• to provide for the reliable, efficient and secure operation of the Hungarian Power System including the required reserve capacities of generation and transmission;
• to supervise and augment the assets of the transmission system, to perform any renewal, maintenance and development works required for a proper and reliable supply;
• to ensure the undisturbed operation and further extension of the electricity market and access on equal terms for system users;
• to process the data received from the participants of electricity supply;
• to inform the market players as not to have unfeasible contracts;
• to harmonise the operation of the Hungarian Power System with the neighbouring systems;
• to coordinate international co-operations;
• to prepare the Network Development Strategy and to put forward proposals for the development of the generation pool.
On the basis of certification included in the Decision of Hungarian Energy Office dated of 13 March 2012, MAVIR is operating in accordance with ITO (Independent Transmission Operator) model; thereby MAVIR is the owner and operator of the transmission network within a vertically integrated electricity corporation. For more information please visit www.mavir.hu.

PSE is a power transmission system operator in Poland and is a company of crucial importance to the national economy, which has been entered into the register of enterprises of special significance for the economy and defense. The core business activity of the Company involves the provision of services of electricity transmission network in accordance with the required criteria for secure operation of the Polish Power System and abiding to objective and transparent principles that ensure equal treatment of parties, as well as with due respect to the natural environment.

The main objectives of the PSE S.A. activity are:
• providing electricity transmission services and ensuring secure and cost-effective operation of the Polish Power System whilst meeting the conditions of synchronous operation with other European systems,
• ensuring the necessary development of the domestic transmission grid and cross-border interconnections,
• making transmission capacity available on market based methods for cross-border exchange purposes,creating the technical infrastructure for the operation of the domestic wholesale electricity market
Additional information is available on www.pse.pl

Since 21 January 2002 the company Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava, a.s. operates transmission system in the Slovak Republic as an independent legal entity. Mission of the Company is to reliably operate the transmission system, ensure dispatching control of the system, its maintenance, renewal and development so as to ensure a sustainable and quality supply of electricity to all users of the transmission system and its parallel operations with adjustment transmission systems. At the same time it is essential for the Company to adhere to transparent and non-discriminatory principles of accessing the network with a minimum impact on the environment. It is also essential to respect the requirements proceeding from the national and EU legislation, national regulatory authority´s decisions, pertinent rules for operations and international co-operation within the synchronized inter-connected electricity network of EU. Additional information is available on www.sepsas.sk.

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