Europe-DG TREN: Good Practice for Electricity Balancing Markets Integration (2007)


The Directorate General for Energy and Transport of the European Commission (DG-TREN) commissioned this study with the purpose of deriving practical recommendations on the optimal design and effective implementation of cross-border balancing or real-time markets. To ensure the compatibility of marketoriented recommendations with the physical reality of interconnected power systems, the study was conducted by an integrated team of engineers and economists from Tractebel Engineering and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven).


According to the EU, an inadequate architecture of the balancing mechanisms acts as a barrier to the entry of new actors in the electricity market. Various balancing mechanisms and underlying philosophies currently exist in Europe. This prevents the unification of the various control area organizations into one single control area organization (or coordinated organizations displaying a virtual unique characteristic). Such a change would permit the reduction of the balancing costs for the market actors.


The aim of the study was twofold :


  • Provide an overview of European experiences and existing solutions regarding cross-border balancing trade, cross-border trade of automatically activated reserves, cross-border intraday trade and their interrelationships;
  • Propose measures to further improve cross-border balancing trade, taking into account intraday issues and automatically activated reserves.





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