Summer Outlook 2018 and Winter Review 2017/2018

ENTSO-E analyses possible risks for the security of supply in Europe twice per year: for the summer and winter periods. Because of possible very high/low temperatures and other 'extreme' weather conditions, winters and summers are more the most critical periods for the power grid.

Executive Summary

The assessment of electricity security of supply at the pan-European level indicates stable operations in the upcoming summer.

There is no expected risk to Europe’s security of supply, even under severe conditions. Estimated availability of generation, market based demand side response (DSR) and interconnections should be sufficient to ensure access to electricity throughout Europe. There might be some generation curtailment needed in Ireland and in some bidding zones in the southern part of Italy in case of variable generation excess and low demand (e.g. windy night or sunny Sunday).

Situation at hydro reservoirs requires attention throughout summer

The level of hydro reservoirs in the Alpine region is equal or close to the lowest historical values. In France it reached its lowest value ever recorded in April 2018.

If the precipitations remain very limited in the coming months, the situation will need monitoring in case of a heat wave, with a special focus on Austria and Switzerland where hydro generation represents more than half of the generation capacity. However, the significant amount of snow that fell in the Alps early this year should contribute to mitigating the situation. The level of hydro reservoirs in Spain and Norway is higher but still below average.

Regional Security Coordinators (RSC) assess adequacy situation in the week-ahead timeframe and ensure that Transmission System Operators (TSOs) will be ready in case any risks materialise.

The Summer Outlook also analyses the trend in evolution of the generation sources in Europe. In 2017, there was a continuous decommissioning of thermal power plants, which was partly compensated by newly commissioned renewable generation.

Winter 2017/2018 was on average mild and windy without any main adequacy issues. However, frequency deviation was experienced due to power imbalances in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro (SMM block) and specifically Kosovo*1 ENTSO-E calls for a political resolution of the dispute that caused the deviations so as to ensure a long-lasting solution to the problem. This will remain a focus area for the association in the course of 2018.

*1This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Special Reports

Managing critical grid situations - Success and Challenges

The report looks at the consequences on systems and markets in the most impacted countries. If the report shows good cooperation notably through Regional Service Coordinators in Western Europe, the cooperation in South East Europe seems to have suffered from a lack of policy and regulatory alignment.

The report lists a series of recommendations like the enhancement of the methodology used in Outlooks to cover more adequacy risks. Today the methodology is not able to forecast situations like the South East Europe January 2017 cold spell. ENTSO-E is committed to make these improvements in time for the next winter outlook.

On net generating capacity, the decrease of fossil fuel (except gas) and the increase in wind and solar is confirmed compared to last summer.

Read Managing critical grid situations - Success and Challenges​​

Annex - A market analysis of the January 2017 cold spell in Europe

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