EU opens investigation into TenneT for limiting cross-border electricity capacity

EBR Staff Writer Published 20 March 2018

The European Union (EU) has launched an investigation into German grid operator TenneT for limiting cross-border electricity capacity with Denmark.

The investigation will assess whether the limits placed by TenneT on cross-border electricity capacity from western Denmark into Germany breaches the EU’s antitrust rules.

The Commission said it is in constructive discussions with TenneT, a Dutch government-owned operator of electrical grids in the Netherlands and Germany, on commitments to address those concerns.

European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said: “Our investigation into TenneT is part of our efforts to ensure that electricity grid operators do not unjustifiably restrict the free flow of electricity between Member States, to the detriment of European energy consumers.

“Ensuring that electricity interconnectors remain fully open to cross-border trade is essential to achieve our overall objective of an efficient, sustainable and competitive energy market.”

The antitrust investigation will look into indications that TenneT may be reducing the amount of transmission capacity available on the electricity interconnector at the border between Western Denmark and Germany.

Commenting on the EU’s investigation, TenneT said that transmission capacities in Europe have meanwhile reached their limits during the course of market liberalisation and the energy transition. 

However, the EU investigation will assess whether capacities approved under European law put foreign providers at an unfair disadvantage, the company said.

TenneT said in a statement: “The Commission is now examining, by way of example, the calculation methodology for the capacities allocated on the interconnections between Germany and West Denmark, which is currently applied at all borders with transmission bottlenecks in Europe.

“This involves whether the calculation of capacities approved under European law puts foreign providers at an unfair disadvantage. The examination can therefore set a precedent for all border connections in Europe. “

In 2017, Germany and Denmark had agreed to gradually increase the minimum day-ahead capacity between two countries for both directions up to 1100MW in 2020.

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