Revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

At the start of September the NordREG Board met to sign a revised Memorandum of understanding (MoU) and approve a new vision.
The first MoU on the cooperation between the Nordic national energy regulators was signed in 2002 and was last amended in 2006.

On the 4th of September 2018 the director generals of the Nordic NRA’s met in Stockholm to sign a revised MoU.

–  The signing of the MoU is an important step for the current ongoing deepened strategic work within NordREG, says Karin Tvingsjö, chair of NordREG’s Strategy group.

Together with the signing of the MoU a new vision was also approved by NordREG Board. The new NordREG vision is: Actively promoting efficient and advanced energy markets, for the benefit of consumers towards a decarbonized society.

The vision outlines the direction for the Nordic regulatory cooperation. NordREG’s logo has also been updated with the slogan NordREG – Power through cooperation.

24 September 2018

Consultation on the Nordic TSOs request for amendment of the arrangements concerning more than one nominated electricity market operator (NEMO) in a bidding zone

This consultation concerns a common request for amendment developed by the Nordic Transmission System Operators regarding the arrangements concerning more than one NEMO in a bidding zone in accordance with Article 45 and 57 of the Commission Regulation (EU) No 2015/1222 of 24 July 2015 establishing a Guideline on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM).

The approval of the TSOs request is a task for each individual energy regulator. However, as the Nordic TSOs have developed a common request and the Nordic energy regulators are working closely on this matter, a NordREG consultation will be held.

NordREG welcomes written input on the proposed request for amendment within the 31st of August 2018. Comments (in English) can be sent to registrator@ei.se. Please mark your answers to the consultation with the following reference number 2018-101723.

Contact persons in NordREG

Linda Weman Tell, Ei
linda.weman.tell@ei.se

Malene Alempiew, DUR
mua@forsyningstilsynet.dk

Mari Salo, EV
mari.salo@energiavirasto.fi

Helena Lindstad Mellison, NVE
hem@nve.no

5 July 2018

Data hubs in place in all Nordic countries in 2021

Today NordREG published a report that describes the status of the ongoing implementation of data hubs in the Nordic region. In the first half of the 2021 all Nordic countries will have data hubs in place that handle all communication between suppliers and DSOs.

NordREG believe that a successful implementation of data hubs and the ability for those data hubs to interact is an important key for a harmonised Nordic retail market for electricity.

The Danish data hub is fully implemented. The Norwegian data hub is scheduled to go live in February 2019. According to the national TSOs in Finland and Sweden the Finnish data hub is scheduled to go live in spring 2021 and the Swedish data hub in the beginning of 2021.

2 July 2018

NordREG workshop on the use of flexibility services

On Wednesday 11th of April the NordREG network regulation working group organized a workshop on flexibility services.

With the new role of the DSO described in the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” proposal, the DSOs will be requested to utilize the grid smarter in the future. The workshop aimed at sharing possibilities and concerns regarding the flexibility services, focusing on storage of electricity, demand side response and tariff design.

The workshop included presentations by regulators, DSOs, and market participators engaged in flexibility services.

All presentations can be found here:

17 May 2018

NordREG will monitor cross-border transmission capacities

A prerequisite for well-functioning and integrated electricity markets is the possibility to trade across bidding zone borders. How to make cross-border capacities available and their efficient use are also important objectives of the CACM* Regulation currently under implementation. The Nordic NRAs have monitored available transmission capacity on Nordic interconnectors in bilateral dialogues with each TSO for several years. Beginning in 2018, this work will be further formalized and explored under the NordREG umbrella.

NordREG will investigate how to coordinate more systematically our joint monitoring of available transmission capacity in the region. In this work NordREG will, in addition to our own analysis, rely on a dialogue and involvement from the TSOs and market participants to achieve more insight and knowledge. We appreciate the reporting already provided by the TSOs today and would like to encourage the TSOs to consider how to further increase transparency by making these reports more refined, informative and standardized.

This NordREG initiative is for both short and long-term purposes and will additionally be a helpful tool when we start studying the development of transmission capacities under the coordinated flow-based capacity calculation and the RSC framework. With this initiative NordREG would like to emphasise the importance of TSOs complying with the obligations in the CACM and other relevant legislation with regards to making available transmission capacity for cross-border trade to ensure a well-functioning energy market.

*Guideline on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management 1222/2015

5 April 2018

NordREG workshop on the use of flexibility services

The “Clean Energy for All Europeans” proposals are intended to help the energy sector to become more stable, more competitive, more sustainable and fit for the 21st century. With a view to stimulating investment in the clean energy transition, the package has three main goals: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies, and providing a fair deal for consumers. To integrate renewables and new loads require innovative solutions and an appropriate regulatory framework.

The distribution system operators (DSOs) have an important role in order to reach the goals in the package. One example is to use flexibility services from distributed energy resources (demand response, local generation, storage and EVs) in order to manage local congestions and solve technical problems (e.g. voltage control, reactive power). Flexibility can be defined as the ability of the electricity system to respond to fluctuations of supply and demand while, at the same time, maintaining system reliability. This can improve efficiencies in operation and development of the distribution network and avoid unnecessary grid expansion.

The workshop aims at sharing possibilities and concerns regarding the use of flexibility services. Will the use of flexibility services challenge the current regulatory framework of the DSOs? What barriers and incentives exist for DSOs to use flexibility services and to implement cost-reflective network tariffs? For Nordic regulators, it is important with input and discussion on how to develop an appropriate regulatory framework.

Target group: All interested parties.

When: April 11th 2018, 10:00 – 16:00. Registration and coffee from 09:30.

Where: Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), Middelthuns gate 29, 0368 Oslo.

Admission: Free.

Registration: Please register here by March 27th.
A confirmation email will be sent soon after.

Participation is limited to 50 people and assigned on a first come, first served basis.

26 March 2018

The Nordic TSOs are requested to submit the common proposal for the determination of LFC blocks according to SO GL

According to Article 141(2) of the Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/1485 of 2 August 2017 establishing a guideline on electricity transmission system operation (SO GL), the Nordic Transmission System Operators (TSOs) shall submit a joint proposal for the determination of the load frequency control blocks (LFC block) to the Nordic national regulatory authorities (NRAs) by 14 January 2018. Load-frequency control block’ or ‘LFC block’ means a part of a synchronous area or an entire synchronous area, physically demarcated by points of measurement at interconnectors to other LFC blocks, consisting of one or more LFC areas, operated by one or more TSOs fulfilling the obligations of load-frequency control.

The Nordic TSOs have not submitted the proposal within the deadline defined in the SO GL. The Nordic NRAs have therefore sent a letter to the TSOs requesting them to submit the proposal as soon as possible.

20 February 2018

Two studies regarding demand flexibility published

NordREG has acted as steering group for two studies on demand flexibility. Both studies were financed by Nordic Energy Research.

The first report was written by Pöyry Management Consulting (Norway) AS and the topic of the study is demand side flexibility from a Nordic distribution system operator (DSO) perspective.

The second report was written by Vista Analyse AS. The purpose of this study was to explore available information on demand flexibility and to make an overview of existing barriers for demand flexibility and its potential value in the Nordic market.

Below follows short summaries of the two studies.

Demand side flexibility from a Nordic distribution system operator perspective

The report consists of a concept study and an interview study. The concept study addresses how DSOs can utilise demand response, including models for how it can be realized and a description of various regulatory issues. The interview study consists of interviews with three DSOs in each of the four Nordic countries addressing: the status of demand response among the selected DSOs; the potential value of flexibility; major barriers to realizing flexibility; and their plans related to demand response.

The report presents numerous household activities which could provide valuable flexibility resources to DSOs, and describes how the DSOs can benefit from increased flexibility among their customers.

Based on a literature study, the report concludes that the most important potential of demand side response for DSOs is related to reduced grid investments. Flexibility can furthermore improve grid optimization, reduce network losses and improve quality of supply.

One of the main possibilities for DSOs to incentivize demand response, raised in the report, is through the design and implementation of cost reflective network tariffs. Tariffs which reflect the costs in the network, either time-differentiated or power-based, are emphasized as crucial for DSOs to enable demand response. The report also raises a need to assess how current regulatory regimes incentivize or hinder DSOs to encourage demand response among their customers.

Flexible demand for electricity and power: Barriers and opportunities

The report presents estimates of the amounts of flexibility in Nordic countries, examples of studies regarding costs and benefits of flexibility, previous studies on end-users’ behavior to price variation and potential sources for flexibility. The literature review shows that the potential is higher in the residential sector than in industry, and solutions in the residential sector may play a role in the balancing markets as well as the retail market. Especially residential space heating plays a significant role.

The report lists the existing barriers as follows: Real-time pricing and metering, aggregation services, ICT and automation services, shorter settlement period and lower minimum bid size.

Real-time pricing and metering is the one feature that the development of flexibility hinges on. The core message from the report is that a market for aggregator services will not thrive unless there is an underlying real-time price structure with metering. ICT and automation services are of limited use unless one has retail real-time pricing or aggregator services that respond to real-time pricing.

The consultant has evaluated that demand flexibility has significant potential in Nordics. Customers can get benefits both in electricity markets and in network services.

General

The consultants propose to strengthen efficient price signals from the energy market and network costs. In addition, DSO and TSO regulation need to be evaluated and the models of aggregation should be made clear.

NordREG will continue its work evaluating the proposals and fostering demand flexibility. NordREG will for example exploit the reports in 2018 while evaluating the development of network tariff design and network regulatory regimes.

Direct links to reports:

21 December 2017

Monitoring of Nordic Retail Markets discussed at workshop in Stockholm

26 October 2017 Nordic national regulators (NRAs) met in Stockholm to discuss monitoring of the Nordic retail markets. National cases were presented and the overall conclusion was that NRAs faces similar challenges and therefore can benefit from sharing experience with each other.

The workshop was arranged by NordREGs Retail Market Working Group (RMWG) that today have published the following conclusions:

Nordic NRAs should encourage customers to compare more than price

Ranking electricity offers based on other components, rather than price, are becoming more important on the national comparison tools. This was confirmed by most NRAs as the share of customer complaints regarding binding time, time of notice etc. is increasing.

  • All NRAs in NordREG should work actively to encourage customers to compare not only price, but also other terms of contract, before signing a supplier contract.

Enhanced collaboration between different national authorities is necessary

Regulation of issues related to the electricity retail market, contractual terms and consumer rights are split between several national authorities. Enhanced collaboration between authorities within a country as well as between countries would be necessary and most beneficial.

  • All NRAs in NordREG should map common situations where unfair selling methods put electricity customers in a vulnerable situation in order to be able to advice customers how to act or which agency or public body to turn to for help.

It is important that EU-directives are interpreted in a similar way in Nordic countries

There are differences among the Nordic NRAs in how to interpret EU-Directives.

  • NordREG believes that on a future Nordic retail market it is important that EU-directives are interpreted in a similar way in all countries. Differences of importance should be identified and discussed on a regular basis.

It is important that customers understand how the price is set

Suppliers offering contracts with arbitrary or no price setting mechanism are a problem in all Nordic countries. Some cases show that customers are either misinformed or not informed at all about how the price is set and how it may vary.

  • NordREG believes that it is of outmost importance that customers are able to understand and foresee how the price of their supplier contract is set, and that the NRAs in NordREG monitor suppliers that do not follow national regulation on this issue.

18 December 2017

NordREGs perspective on the development of competition among NEMOs

NordREG has published a position paper on the development of competition among NEMOs as input to the process carried out by the Commission pursuant to Article 5 (3) of Regulation 2015/1222 (CACM GL).

Based on experiences from the implementation of CACM GL, NordREG sees a need for a clearer division between natural monopoly functions and functions/tasks that can be provided by competitive companies. The lack of separation results in costly and complex regulation in addition to reduced competitive pressure on NEMOs.

5 December 2017