Cold snap tested capabilities of European TSOs

The extreme cold weather snap that hit many parts of Europe in February put huge pressure on transmission system operators.

Some countries, including France, Poland, Austria and Croatia reported the highest ever peak on their system, while Bulgaria hit its highest peak in 20 years.

And in Germany, TSOs experienced problems balancing generation and demand due to limitations of gas supply to fuel power stations – particularly in the south of the country. The bad weather meant that power from wind or solar could not contribute significantly to the generation-demand balance, and the country’s nuclear phase out also caused difficulties.

The analysis of the TSO’s performance comes in a report published this week by European trade group ENTSO-E.  It concludes that despite the pressure of the cold weather – the worst in decades in some countries – TSOs “managed a difficult situation well through maximising the available network, co-ordinating generation, and ensuring customers had the greatest opportunity for uninterrupted power supply”.

ENTSO-E states that the importance of inter-TSO co-operation was key to maintaining secure systems and existing regional security coordination initiatives such as Coreso in western Europe, TSO Security Cooperation in central Europe and the Security Service Centre in Germany and The Netherlands were shown to work well and should be developed in all parts of Europe.

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