ACER releases its second 70% target report on the minimum margin available for cross-zonal electricity trade in the EU

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ACER releases its second 70% target report on the minimum margin available for cross-zonal electricity trade in the EU

What is the minimum 70% cross-zonal electricity capacity target?

Europe's Clean Energy Package (CEP) has set a binding minimum 70% target for electricity interconnector capacity for cross-zonal trading (the 'minimum 70% target'), to be met by all Transmission System Operators (TSOs).

The minimum 70% target is legally binding since the start of 2020, but Member States may also adopt transitory measures, such as action plans or derogations, thus allowing TSOs to reach gradually the minimum 70% target, by the end of 2025 at the latest.

Why is monitoring the 'minimum 70% target' im​portant?

The lack of sufficient cross-zonal capacity in between Member States ​is one of the main barriers to the integration of electricity markets, and market integration is key to deliver on Europe's energy goals. Larger amounts of cross-zonal capacity made available for trade increase cross-border competition and enhance the integration of renewable energy sources.

ACER's monitoring aims to identify consistently across the EU the scope for improvement to meet the minimum 70% target. 

How are Member States doing? Efforts needed in all countries to reach the 70% target

ACER's second “70% Target Report" provides an overview of the levels of margins for cross-zonal capacity compared to the minimum legally binding 70% target for the second half of 2020, and on action plans and derogations. It also highlights the changes compared to the first report (which related to the first half of 2020).

Ma​​in findings of the report:

  • Member States have much more to do to get closer to the legally binding minimum 70% target.

  • The levels of margins for cross-zonal capacity is mixed across the EU and are broadly similar to the levels observed in the first ​half of 2020.

  • Member States should work to meet the 70% minimum target at all times, and to reach their target national transitional targets to gradually reach the 70% minimum.

  • How? Members States can count on several measures at their disposal to improve the level of margin offered such as cost-efficient investments; use of remedial actions; and bidding zone reconfiguration, to help them to reach the target.

  • The levels of cro​ss-zonal capacity are very diverse depending on the type of border and geographical location:

  1. On high-voltage Direct Current (DC) borders, the 70% target was met most of the time but with a few  notable exceptions.

  2.  On Alternating Current (AC) borders, there is a very diverse picture with significant room for improvement to meet the 70% target for most regions and borders.
  • ACER's monitoring depends critically on TSOs providing robust and extensive data. ACER acknowledges the efforts made by a majority of TSOs to improve the provision of data. However, the completeness and quality of this data needs to be urgently improved in some regions.

  • Regarding action plans and derogations, ACER finds significant room for further harmonising their setup across the EU. Regulatory authorities should grant derogations as a last resort measure, and only where necessary for maintaining operational security.

  • For consistency, national regulatory authorities (NRAs) should consider the results of ACER's analysis to assess the compliance of TSOs with the minimum 70% target.

​Access to the ACER's comprehensive Report and detailed Annexes