The link between system adequacy and the TYNDP

Are there risks to Europe's pan-European adequacy in the next five to ten years? Why is it important to assess adequacy at a pan-European scale? What methodology is ENTSO-E using and does it cater for the rapid change in Europe's generation mix?

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What is the mid-term adequacy forecast or MAF?

The MAF replaces the Scenario Outlook and Adequacy Forecast (SO&AF) previously published by ENTSO-E. This new name marks the use of a revised and up-to-date data focusing on a mid-term horizon (in the range of 5-10 years).

How is the mid-term adequacy forecast (MAF) linked to the TYNDP?

The EU legislation1 requires ENTSO-E to deliver a Europe-wide network development plan every two years – the TYNDP – that includes a Europe-wide generation adequacy outlook built on the national assessment prepared by each transmission system operator (TSO).

Why is there a different time horizon between the MAF and the TYNDP?

As described in the ‘Future system perspective’ insight report, 2030 was chosen for the deadline in the TYNDP scenarios as it coincides with the realisation of key EU objectives in terms of climate and energy policies.

Generation adequacy is however best performed within a shorter period. As stressed by the ECG^1^, adequacy assessments are useful if built on the mid-term horizon (max 10 years forward) to diagnose potential load shedding risks and send signals to market players and decision makers to adapt the generation fleet. This diagnosis is less relevant for risk preparedness purposes on a longer term (more than 10 years).

Furthermore, rather than explanatory scenarios used for grid planning up to 2030, generation adequacy forecast is best carried out using a best estimate, predictive scenario and a bottom-up approach.

The generation adequacy outlook based on a predictive scenario with a 10 years time horizon is the best tool to allow member states, regulators and generators to take the necessary measures to avoid any adequacy problems including through the building of new infrastructure.

Why is the MAF published every year?

Although the European legislation talks about a generation adequacy forecast every two year, ENTSO-E decided upon its own initiative to make it an annual publication. Indeed ENTSO-E’s adequacy assessment are of an increasing relevance to decision-makers and investors.

Furthermore, the fast evolution of the energy mix (that is the growing development of renewable energy sources and increased reduction of conventional power plants), requires to have a view of the adequacy situation year by year for the next decade.2

The publication each year of an adequacy forecast is responding to stakeholder expectations. The European Commission is planning to make proposals for a revision of the European legislation on market design and risk preparedness at the end of 2016. This revision should include the need for an annual system adequacy forecast looking at the next 10 years.

A similar recommendation was made by the ECG^1^. The Pentalateral Energy Forum argued for the same in its Joint Declaration for Regional Cooperation on Security of Electricity Supply in the Framework of the Internal Energy Market. Feedback received from regulators also pointed for the need for an annual mid-term adequacy outlook.

Furthermore, since the main scope of the report is the assessment and detection of generation adequacy risks due to uncertainties on investment cycles for new generation and demand assets, an annual publication ensures that the most up-to-date data regarding for example mothballing, maintenance, decommissioning of assets is used.

Is there not a risk of inconsistency between the MAF and the TYNDP?

In its last two opinions on the SOAF, the European regulators’ agency, ACER, pointed out apparent lack of consistency between the TYNDP report and the SOAF. This confusion was mainly due to a difference in the scenarios used.

ENTSO-E has thus decided to create the MAF, which looks at generation adequacy in the mid-term – this mid-term timeframe being necessary for risk preparedness as explained above.

Longer term (beyond 10 years) adequacy forecast is needed in the framework of the TYNDP3. In the 2016 edition, long term adequacy assessment is covered in the Scenario Development Report and in the TYNDP final report assessing the infrastructure projects and their contribution to the long term balance between generation and consumption.

How will the TYNDP and the MAF evolve in the future?

In 2016 and 2018 the requirements of Regulation (EC) 714/2009 in terms of generation adequacy outlooks will be covered through the following documents:

i) The TYNDP Scenario Development Report,

ii) The Mid-Term Adequacy Forecast (MAF)

iii) The TYNDP report and the regional investment plans

All system adequacy assessments should be based on consistent assumptions and scenario development. The mid-term and long-term assessments serving different but complementary objectives.

A “worst-case’ variant of the current 2030 TYNDP scenarios could be considered in 2018. This would demonstrate the added value of cross-border projects on security of supply at pan-European level.

Long-term adequacy analysis can be complemented by further investigation of more detailed technical (hourly residual load analysis and ramps, etc.) and economic issues (generation means usage with and without the TYNDP projects, etc.)4. This longer term adequacy sensitivity analysis of the TYNDP scenarios is envisaged for the 2018 edition.

Regarding complementary assessments of system inertia and frequency control, ENTSO-E agrees on their importance, taking into account the evolution of the electricity system towards a more flexible and dynamic model. However, such assessments require consideration of operational details beyond the present scope and level of details of the TYNDP package. Other dedicated reports within the System Operations Committee are best suited to provide these type of analysis.5

  1. Regulation (EC) N°714/2009 

  2. Report of the European Electricity Coordination Group on The Need and Importance of Generation Adequacy Assessments in the European Union, Ref. Ares(2013)3382105 - 30/10/2013:”the further ahead one assesses adequacy the greater the uncertainty. There becomes a point where the uncertainty outweighs any information that might be learnt from the assessment in the first place. It appears from the forecast periods utilised that this is likely to be in the range of 5-10 years. 

  3. This was explained especially during a webinar to ACER-NRAs 10 June 2015: “TYNDP 2016 scenarios – why adequate scenarios for CBAs”. The point was to stress that the use of non-adequate Pan-EU scenarios (with, at Pan-EU level, more load L than generation G can supply or more generation G that strictly needed to supply load L) would result in a biased assessment of the projects benefits: if G<L, some load shedding is unavoidable; therefore the benefit (=avoided redispatching or load shedding) of an additional transmission or storage project is reduced, possibly down to zero,; conversely if G>L, then competition due to overcapacity is high in every price zone, levelling out prices and mitigating congestion, and therefore reducing the need for additional transmission or storage assets. 

  4. These issues are not necessarily critical for the soundness of a scenario, as appropriate mitigation measures (e.g. making PV devices able to contribute to frequency control) can be deemed to be available in the scenario, without changing its inner logic. However, in reality, such mitigation measures can be challenging to implement for market players and it is worth measuring the possible gap. 

  5. “Frequency Stability Evaluation - Criteria for the Synchronous Zone of Continental Europe & Requirements and impacting factors” – RG - CE System Protection & Dynamics Sub Group