Winter Outlook 2018/2019

Risks to electricity security of supply in Europe contained this winter; close monitoring needed in case of cold spell.

Executive Summary

ENTSO-E’s Winter Outlook 2018/2019 finds that Europe’s supply of electricity is secured under normal conditions. In case of a cold spell, the situation will need monitoring in an area including Belgium, France, Northern–Italy, Central–Northern Italy and Slovenia. This monitoring will especially be needed in January and February in case of outages combined with low wind and solar.

The unforeseen and delayed maintenance of generation units in Belgium announced in September 2018 and the respective countermeasures identified by the Belgian authorities have been considered. Special monitoring of the adequacy situation in Europe and reinforced information sharing are ensured on a weekly basis at the technical level among TSOs through the Regional Security Coordinators and at political level under the European Electricity Coordination Group which gathers the European Commission, EU member states, regulators and technical experts.

The Winter Outlook looks at a series of variables that are important to consider when analysing security of supply such as hydro reservoirs, gas supply and change in generation. At the start of this winter, the level of hydro reservoirs in Europe is near average and a coordinated assessment with ENTSO-E’s gas counterpart, ENTSOG, confirmed that a disruption to gas supply routes during a cold spell would not endanger electricity supply in Europe. This year’s edition of the Winter Outlook shows the decrease of conventional generation is continuing but that the increase in renewables installed generation capacity is higher than last winter.

As usual, the Winter Outlook is released with a review of what happened during the previous summer. Summer 2018 was marked by temperatures much higher than average, especially in Northern and Eastern Europe. This led to some local electricity supply disruptions in Czech Republic, Croatia and Greece.

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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