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UCTE: Security of electricity supply needs to be given higher priority


UCTE welcomes the European Union’s agreement on new infrastructure

UCTE, the Association of European transmission system operators, has welcomed the
new EU guidelines for energy networks in Europe which the Energy Ministers of the
Union’s Member States had agreed upon recently in Brussels. Through these guidelines
the EU intends to promote electricity exchanges within the European Union.
UCTE endeavours the development of interconnection infrastructures considered as an indispensable
predicate for competitive markets but emphasizes that greater attention be paid
to reliability aspects. Martin Fuchs, the President of UCTE, underlined this position in Brussels:
“As system operators, we will pursue the development of the European electricity highways
carefully monitoring system security and adequacy. As a result of competition, traffic on
these highways has strongly increased and the problem of congestion is of great concern to
many TSOs. Therefore, UCTE’s maxim is: “security first”. The further development of electricity
networks must be pursued in Europe in such a way that Californian conditions are
avoided at any rate”.

Within UCTE, each TSO is individually responsible for the secure operation
and the development of his transmission system. TSOs are in close contact with their
customers and with other TSOs, e.g. when it comes to the enforcement of international tielines.
In most UCTE countries, a co-ordinated procedure is set up in which authorities, market
parties, TSOs and regulators participate. This allows to gather information such as
macro-economic data and their relation to electricity intensity, land use constraints, industrial
and demographic developments, etc. in order to find a consensus on the developments to be
planned and to lay the basis for their financing, e.g. through their incorporation in the “regulatory
asset base”.

In any case, investments in network infrastructure will require a stable framework ensuring a
fair return on assets, which generally have long pay-back times. Regulators or public supervisory
institutions play an essential role in creating this framework.

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