The interconnection with France: the big battery of the peninsular electricity system

AleaSoft, March 5, 2021. The interconnections with France through the Pyrenees are, for the moment, the only link with the European electricity system. This critical point of the peninsular electricity system plays a very important role during the episodes with high wind energy production in the Iberian Peninsula, and it will play an even more decisive role in the coming decades with the energy transition and the increase in renewable energies.

AleaSoft - Power lines

A few days ago it was commented how the pumping stations took advantage of the variability and the high wind energy production of these recent months to store and produce more electricity, and the role that the storage technologies, such as the reversible hydroelectric plants, were going to play in the penetration of the renewable energies and the energy transition.

The wind energy production in Spain, being the non‑manageable renewable energy technology with more installed MW, is one of the main drivers of the electricity markets prices. During episodes of very high wind energy production, this technology can cover up to 70% of the demand. This production capacity affects the entire electricity system, which in times of high wind energy production increases its energy export to the rest of Europe through the interconnection with France.

AleaSoft - Electricity generation wind energy exchanges FranceSource: Prepared by AleaSoft using data from REE.

Taking a look at the evolution of the electricity exports to the Gallic country, it is clearly perceived how the periods with the highest wind energy production coincide with those with the highest export. During the last three months, between December 2020 and February 2021, 3 016 GWh were exported to France. Never in all history so much electricity was exported for three months in a row, coinciding with the wind energy production records of these months.

The great battery that is the European electricity system

Making the analogy with the capacity to store energy that the pumping stations have, the connection with the European electricity system can be considered as a large battery from which energy can be imported in case of lack of production in the peninsula or it can be exported in case of excess production, for example during episodes of high wind energy production such as those registered during the last three months.

In fact, this great battery is not a last resort in case of excess or lack of supply. If energy can flow freely between countries without capacity restrictions, then the energy generation will be the most efficient at each time, allowing taking advantage of the production of the most competitive, efficient and least polluting technologies.

Thus, the international interconnections will play a very important role in the penetration of the renewable energies and the energy transition. But for this it is necessary that the capacity of the interconnection is large enough to allow enough energy to circulate at all times.

Information and analysis of the energy markets in Europe

The last webinars organised by AleaSoft had the participation of speakers from the most important companies in the energy sector in Europe and globally. Among them are Deloitte, Vector Renewables, PwC and Engie. These webinars covered relevant and interesting topics for the professionals of the sector. From the PPA, both from the point of view of the renewable energy producer and the consumer, the financing and the bankability of the renewable energy projects, the account audits and the due diligence, and the renewable energy auctions. In many of these topics, the need to have long‑term prices forecasts with good quality, scientifically based and with hourly price granularity in the thirty‑year horizon of the forecast was highlighted.

The next webinar will revolve around the “Prospects for the energy markets in Europe. Spring 2021”. The webinar will be held on March 18 and it will feature the participation of speakers from EY (Ernst & Young). During the webinar and the subsequent analysis table, the prospects for the markets in the spring of 2021 will be analysed, the financing of renewable energy projects, the importance of the PPA, the main novelties in the regulation of the energy sector and the business opportunities abroad will be discussed.

At AleaSoft mid‑term European electricity markets prices forecasting reports are also available, which provide a vision of the prospects for the coming months and years, taking into account the most up‑to‑date scenarios for the evolution of the economy. In addition to the hourly forecasts for the next three years, a report of forecasts with stochasticity is available, which includes the probability distributions of the monthly, quarterly and annual products included in the forecast horizon and a monthly simulations report that includes 1000 simulations of prices.

In a complementary way to the forecasts reports, the AleaApp Platform is a tool that compiles the data of the main variables of the energy markets, facilitating their visualisation and the analysis of their historical evolution.

Source: AleaSoft Energy Forecasting.

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