7.4.2016 13:35
Current News, International News, Electricity Market

The European internal market in electricity is moving forward – network code forum supports these changes

Fingrid's network code forum met for the first time on 17 March 2016. The purpose of the forum is to provide information about current issues, gather and summarise stakeholder views, and promote discussion of European network codes.
The network code forum was established by Fingrid and is open to all stakeholders. It brings people together three times a year to discuss current network code-related issues.

The forum complements public consultation processes by providing information about future proposals, their backgrounds and impacts on customers. During the code implementation phase, practical instructions will be provided to parties directly affected by the proposals.

"We are preparing an agenda for the meetings and anyone can suggest topics to be addressed. We will discuss the issues and we will also arrange workshops where stakeholders will have an opportunity to obtain more information about the issues being prepared," says Senior Expert Satu Viljainen, who serves as secretary for the forum.

Network codes are associated with the aim of the EU’s third energy package that entered into force in July 2009 concerning the European internal market in electricity. Some of the codes apply to the market, some to network operation and others to connection to the grid. The first of eight codes, Capacity Allocation & Congestion Management (CACM), took effect in August 2015. The other codes are in various stages of so-called comitology processing. The next codes to be implemented will be the Requirements for Generators (RfG) and the Forward Capacity Allocation Guideline (FCA).
 
A welcome communication channel

Participants in the first network code forum considered it to be a necessary communication channel and discussion arena. "It's impossible for a single actor to keep up with the progress, so being able to obtain summarised information from a single source is a very welcome service," say Jaakko Tuomisto from Teollisuuden Voima and Anne-Mari Brunfeldt from Pohjolan Voima.

Fortum Power & Heat's Raimo Peltola concurs. "This provides us with information about what changes lie ahead and how they will affect current practices."

Director Antti Paananen from the Energy Authority expects active stakeholder participation and plenty of discussion. "I hope that stakeholders will also give us informal feedback to supplement what we learn during the official hearing processes."

The agenda for the first meeting on 17 March 2016 focused on market codes. The forum included up-to-date information about the possibility of competition between power exchanges on the electricity market enabled by the CACM network code, and about the Electricity Balancing (EB) network code for which comitology processing will begin next autumn.
 
All comments will be taken into consideration

The network codes require transmission system operators and electricity market operators to develop and implement different methods and terms. Stakeholders can influence these terms and methods by means of public consultations. Prior to making recommendations, the network owners and electricity market operators must consult the stakeholders. A hearing period of at least one month must be provided, and all comments have to be taken into consideration and made public.

At the first network code forum, Leading Specialist Jarno Lamponen from the Energy Authority encouraged stakeholders to take advantage of their opportunity to exert influence, because once they take effect the codes will be part of legislation. Depending on the issue, decisions are being made and consultations are being held at the European, regional and national level.
"It's worth being active during the hearing process. All stakeholder comments have to be assessed," explained Lamponen.

Fingrid's Planning Manager Ritva Hirvonen, who chairs the network code forum, said that two public consultations are scheduled on the EU level: one concerning the firmness of capacity provided to the market and another related to the opening and closing times for the intraday market. Both are associated with the CACM network code that took effect in August 2015.
Fingrid announces public consultations on its website and via the network code forum mailing list.

The next network code forum meetings will be held on 24 August 2016 and 29 November 2016 in the Helsinki region. It is possible to register as a forum member by sending an e-mail to: verkkosaannot@fingrid.fi. Proposals for the meeting agenda and questions about network codes, their implementation or public consultations can also be sent to the same address.

Further information:
Ritva Hirvonen, Manager,Regulatory Affairs and Market Integration
phone +358 30 395 4182

Satu Viljainen, Senior Expert
phone +358 30 395 4106