It is acknowledged by regulators on multiple occasions that transparency of information is crucial in the creation of well-functioning, competitive and efficient wholesale energy markets.
It is, equally, underlined transparency facilitates price formation by enabling users to compare trading opportunities and results across trading venues, and thus allowing them to make rational trading decisions about when and where to trade (see for example ACER's annual report on its activities under REMIT in 2014, p. 50).
Legal and organisational vehicle serving the above purposes in the European wholesale energy market are, among others, transparency platforms.
Sources of law for transparency platforms in the the European Union Internal Energy Market
Institutional framwework governing the activities of transparency platforms in the the European Union Internal Energy Market is mainly based on:
1) the Third Energy Package, which introduced transparency rules through the Regulations No 714/2009 and 715/2009 as well as applicable guidelines and network codes on the management and allocation of available transfer capacity of interconnections between national systems,
3) REMIT Regulation and Commission Implementing Regulation No 1348/2014 of 17 December 2014on data reporting implementing Article 8(2) and Article 8(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency, OJ L 363, 18.12.2014, p. 121 (REMIT Implementing Regulation).
The first of the above legislative pieces sets out requirements for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) to publish data on the availability of networks, capacities of cross-border interconnectors and generation, load and network outages.
The main novelty introduced by the Regulation No 543/2013 is, in turn, the establishment of a Central Information Transparency Platform operated by ENTSO-E.
The aim of REMIT is to promote confidence in wholesale electricity and gas markets, so that they are working properly and for the benefit of energy consumers.
In particular, Article 4 of REMIT aims to increase transparency in wholesale energy markets by setting out an obligation for market participants to publish inside information in an effective and timely manner.
Transparency platforms are significant in the context of REMIT Regulation since REMIT recognises that publication of inside information in accordance with Third Energy Package and Regulation 543/2013 or guidelines adopted pursuant to it, constitutes simultaneous, complete and effective public disclosure, but not necessarily timely public disclosure.
Hence, the concepts of the transparency of information under the Third Energy Package and Regulation 543/2013 on the one hand, and inside information under REMIT on the other, although different, are interlinked.
The former are designed to ensure the information reported covers a wide area ranging from unavailabilities, demand information, actual and forecast generation, as well as flows in and out of the system.
The latter, in turn, can be a sub-set thereof: usually relate to unavailabilities of storage, consumption, transmission, generation or production units, but in every case must represent an information that, most likely, a reasonable market participant would use as part of the basis for its decisions, if it would be likely that this information would have a significant effect on the prices of wholesale energy products.
Inside information under REMIT may also form a broader category than the transparency information under the Third Energy Package and Regulation 543/2013 - an example is the Third Energy Package and Regulation 543/2013 require the reporting of unavailabilities of 100 MW or more, while changes of any size in the capacity or output may constitute inside information if they meet the criteria outlined in REMIT.
On account of the above interdependencies - as ACER's annual report on its activities under REMIT in 2014 observes - some platforms for the disclosure of inside information have taken on the task of reporting, under an agreement with the market participant and the responsible TSO, unavailabilities according to the The Third Energy Package and Regulation 543/2013 to the ENTSO-E platform, in addition to publishing Urgent Market Messages (UMMs) for REMIT purposes.
When it comes to technicalities, inside information under REMIT is typically disseminated in the form of UMMs, and according to Article 10(1) of the REMIT Implementing Regulation, market participants disclosing inside information on their websites, or service providers disclosing such information on market participants' behalf, must provide web feeds to ACER to enable ACER to collect such data efficiently.
It is acknowledged by ACER that the disclosure of inside information by means of transparency platforms, for instance operated by a TSO or energy exchange, is the most effective way, as it makes it easier for all stakeholders to access this information (in Member States where such platforms do not exist, market participants normally publish their inside information on their company websites, and this dual approach, for an interim period, is accepted by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) a with regard to REMIT disclosure mechanisms).
ENTSO-E Central Information Transparency Platform
The ENTSO-E Central Information Transparency Platform was put into operation on 5 January 2015.
The platform collects TSO's fundamental data related to generation, load, transmission and electricity balancing. It is compulsory for TSOs to submit data to ENTSO-E.
A significant step in the development of the ENTSO-E Platform is the compliance with REMIT in autumn 2015, especially after the adoption of the REMIT Implementing Regulation.
To fulfil obligation arising from the REMIT Implementing Regulation, ENTSO-E Transparency Platform submits data to ACER's market monitoring system on a daily basis.
For 2016, there is a clear indication to expand the ENTSO-E Transparency Platform from a "compliance tool" to a "market-oriented service" (ENTSO-E draft Work Programme 2015 through December 2016). To this end, an improved governance structure is planned to be introduced.
Transparency platforms' responsibility
ENTSO-E reserves that ENTSO-E platform does not perform any control on the accurateness, the up-to-date character or the consistency of the transparency platform data.
The straightforward consequence of the aforementioned fact is the ENTSO-E platform data user is able to extract and to use the transparency platform data under its own responsibility only.
In this context the general issue of transparency platforms' responsibility arises.
ACER referred thereto in interpretations of 31 August 2015 and 16 February 2016 (both are, in principle, mutually consistent).
The regulator's stance is that market participants are liable for the completeness and correctness of the content of the urgent market messages published on their own company website and/or on platforms for the disclosure of inside information.
Platforms for the disclosure of inside information are normally not liable for the completeness and correctness of the content of the urgent market message that they receive and disclose on behalf of the market participant.
However, platforms for the disclosure of inside information should accept responsibility for any data error that has taken place after the market participant submitted the urgent market message to the platform.
Market participants should nevertheless take reasonable steps to verify the completeness, accuracy and timeliness of the disclosure of inside information on platforms on their behalf.
ENTSO-G union-wide transparency platform
Transparency rules of the Third Energy Package cover also the European gas market.
Regulation (EC) No 715/2009 and its amendments require the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) to provide a union-wide platform where all TSOs for gas shall make their relevant data publicly available.
ENTSOG provides the tool for the disclosure of inside information on its transparency platform. UMMs are displayed via a calendar view.
The service is currently used by TSOs on a voluntary basis (ACER's annual report on its activities under REMIT in 2014, p. 55).
Transparency platforms run by oganised market places
Organised market places are also establishing transparency platforms in order to enable market participants to fulfil the obligation to publish inside information as required by Article 4 of REMIT.
The aforementioned ACER's annual report on its activities under REMIT in 2014 (p. 52 and 55) describes the activities of eight platform providing solutions available for the disclosure of inside information for electricity and seven for gas in the EU Member States:
- NPS (Nord Pool Spot) operates a platform for the disclosure of inside information helping users to quickly and simply comply with both REMIT and the Transparency Regulations. It publishes inside information for Nordic and Baltic countries. A large part of the UMMs are directly linked to changes in capacity, while any other information is covered by the market messages. The NPS website provides web feeds and allows the exporting of messages into excel files. NPS offers a possibility to submit data directly from the UMM system to the ENTSO-E Transparency Platform.
- EEX (European Energy Exchange) collects and publishes inside information (unavailabilities and market information in the form of an ad hoc ticker) for six Member States, as well as for Switzerland, on behalf of market participants. Unavailabilities related to electricity production, consumption and storage are displayed. In the new website launched in September 2014, companies can request EEX to forward power production data according to the Transparency Regulations to ENTSO-E.
- RTE (Réseau de transport d'électricité) publishes data received from producers and related to unavailabilities of production units and generation units located in Metropolitan France (excluding Corsica). Information is pub- lished for planned and unplanned outages of more than 100 MW for generation units and for more than 200 MW for production units, as well as changes of 100 MW or more in actual availability of a generation or a production unit, expected or planned to last for at least one hour. Additional information, complementary to the availability information published on a regular basis, is provided on a separate web page with the aim of helping market participants to better assess the overall supply situation.
- HUPX (Hungarian Power Exchange) provides a website which allows for the disclosure of inside information according to its publication rules approved by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority. In- side information is split into two main categories: one is related to (un)availabilities (outages or losses of capacity and use of facilities for the production, storage, consumption or transmission of electricity), the other includes all other market information with a potentially significant effect on prices such as changes of market orientation or bankruptcy proceedings.
- GPI (Exchange Information Platform) has been established by the Polish Power Exchange to construct a single platform for the disclosure of inside information on a national level. It allows information to be aggregated on planned and unplanned outages in one place and provides information on current and future available production capacity. The reported information on capacity outages is graphically presented in a calendar and aggregated by totalling all outages for any single day.
- ELEXON operates a web portal which enables market participants to submit inside information under REMIT. Information messages are published relating to incidents such as planned or unplanned outages and other market information which may have an effect on energy prices.
- APG (Austrian Power Grid) provides a platform that fulfils the obligation of inside information publication under REMIT. It is operated by the Austrian TSO APG and is the only platform for the disclosure of inside information dedicated to cross-border transmission unavailabilities. The published market information concerns intraday- stops and transmission capacity changes at national borders. The website has web feeds and delivers the relevant market information to the ENTSO-E Transparency Platform, according to the Transparency Regulations.
- Energinet.dk provides an information platform that is a fast and simple way to publicly disclose inside information and other gas market messages related to the Danish natural gas market. UMMs contain information that is relevant to the capacity and use of facilities for the production, storage, consumption or transmission of natural gas. Other gas market messages include information on commercial relevance to market participants in general, e.g. information on mergers and acquisitions.
News service providers
Additionally, in some markets, news service providers (such as Platts, Reuters and Montel etc.) have established services further disseminating the inside information that market participants have disclosed on their websites or on platforms.
Pursuant to ACER, these services "contribute to the effective disclosure of inside information, and enhance transparency within the markets" (ACER's annual report on its activities under REMIT in 2014, p. 50).
ACER's List of Inside Information Platforms
The important source of information on the main electricity and gas transparency platforms in the EU is the ACER' List of Inside Information Platforms (as an integral part of the ACER's REMIT Portal), which lists the solutions the Agency is aware of. The said website, as visited on 2 December 2015, lists, non-exhaustively, nine transparency platforms for electricity and eight transparency platforms for gas.
The Agency decided to publish a list of platforms for the disclosure of inside information for wholesale electricity and gas markets, available across the EU, on the REMIT Portal in January 2015.
Energy market transparency platforms - state of play
As was said above, the energy regulators' view is the use of centralised platforms is an effective tool for the public disclosure of inside information.
ACER considers, the use of platforms benefits both those who submit messages and those who want to use this information for their business decisions.
The major shortcomings underlined are:
- The main differences in the way inside information is disclosed relate to the nomenclature, formats and level of detail used across platforms. Such variance may limit the achievable level of transparency and also make the collection of UMMs from various platforms more challenging.
- Further challenges may arise from the overlap in the ways inside information is published, as information on a single event may be reported via multiple channels making data collection and use challenging.
- The dual approach in the disclosure mechanism, in the form of market participants' own websites, and inside information platforms, may lengthen the search for information.
- There is a partial coincidence between the reporting obligations stemming from the Transparency Regulations and Article 4(1) of REMIT.
- Some confusion may arise from the fact that there are some countries which are covered by more than one platform for the disclosure of inside information, on the other side there are still countries without an available platform.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 March 2016 00:06|