Today ACER has issued an Opinion on the compliance of National Regulatory Authorities’ (NRAs) decisions approving the methods of allocation of cross-border transmission capacity in the Central-East Europe (CEE) region - which includes Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia - with the 2009 Electricity Regulation and its Guidelines. In its Opinion, ACER invites the CEE NRAs and Transmission System Operators (TSOs) to commit, within the next four months, to the implementation of a coordinated capacity allocation procedure on the German-Austrian border, according a realistic but ambitious calendar with concrete steps.
ACER’s call rests on an in-depth technical and legal assessment, concluding that the German-Austrian interconnector can accommodate all physical flows resulting from international trade requested by market participants only at the expense of major structural congestions on the German-Polish, German-Czech and the Czech-Austrian borders, but also within Germany. In that respect, the German-Austrian interconnector shall be considered as usually and structurally congested according to Article 2(2)(c) of Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity, and therefore requires the implementation of a capacity allocation method pursuant to points 1.2 and 1.4 of the Guidelines annexed to that Regulation.
The German and the Austrian NRAs and TSOs are also invited to evaluate whether the already implemented interim measures (e.g. the virtual phase shifter in place since February 2014) are sufficient to ensure network security, or whether additional interim measures coordinated at regional level would be necessary to ensure that the network is operated safely until a coordinated capacity allocation procedure on the German-Austrian border is implemented.
The Opinion was requested by Urząd Regulacji Energetyki (URE), the Polish NRA, on 2 December 2014. In the request URE highlighted the fact that the decisions of the Austrian, Hungarian, Slovakian and the Slovenian NRAs approve the methods of allocation of cross-border transmission capacity despite the failure of the methods themselves to provide for a capacity allocation procedure for the German-Austrian border. Specifically, the URE sought the Agency’s opinion on whether the absence of capacity allocation procedure on the German-Austrian border was in line with the relevant legislation.
As in its Market Monitoring Report, in today’s Opinion the Agency yet again points at unscheduled/loop flows as one of the main obstacles to market integration in the CEE region. The cross-border flows on the German-Austrian border are increasing and represent 40%, i.e. the highest volume, of cross-border exchanges observed in the CEE region.
Access the Opinion here.
Find out more in the ACER Q&A on the opinion.