Since the beginning of 2015, the TSOs of the EXPLORE countries – Austria, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands – have been studying the possibility of integrating their FRR energy markets in the scope of the requirements of the draft guidelines of electricity balancing. First results were presented in a stakeholder workshop in June of this year. Now the EXPLORE TSOs are publishing a report in which they present their findings. On request of the NRAs of the EXPLORE countries, who have closely accompanied the study stakeholders are cordially invited to provide their feedback on the report until 21 November.

The EXPLORE study is unique in the way in which it focuses on interlinking aspects of market design, both between intraday and balancing markets, as between design features of the FRR market itself. At this stage the conclusions are valid given several commonalities between the involved countries, which all operate incentive based balancing systems with predominantly aFRR and an imbalance settlement period of fifteen minutes. Extendibility is important to EXPLORE TSOs and will be looked at further.


The EXPLORE study focuses on the consistency of the complete market model and identifies necessary points of harmonisation taking into account the draft guidelines of electricity balancing. Some important findings are related to the complexity in the application of marginal pricing in cross-border balancing markets, due to the close link with TSO operational needs, and to the role of respectively mFRR and aFRR in cross-border markets.

European context

Accompanying the report, EXPLORE TSOs would like to share with you a formal response from EXPLORE National Regulatory Authorities. They put the work further in the context of the EBGL and related European developments. The current German stipulation procedure, which will be finalised at the end of 2016, forms a first step towards further changes in the future, which will occur after the entry into force of the EBGL. Likewise, the EXPLORE report defines a target in line with the implementation of the EBGL.

Request for feedback

Considering the nature of the EXPLORE study and its focus on consistency in market integration, stakeholder feedback is especially appreciated in regards to the questions found here. Any feedback can be sent to kontakt@regelleistung.net. EXPLORE TSOs are able to take into account feedback received before 21 November 2016 in their further work. The anonymised feedback will be shared with all NRAs of the EXPLORE countries.

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