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Market facilitation

Since 2006 TenneT has been working closely with other European TSOs and power exchanges on the physical and commercial interconnection of the Northwest European electricity market. The aim is to create a single market where consumers can rely on security of supply at a fair price.

About market facilitation

TenneT's aim is to create a single market in which consumers can rely on security of supply at a fair price.

The power grid is stable when the electricity that is generated corresponds with the electricity that is consumed. The grid operator is responsible for maintaining the balance. Because electricity producers cannot know exactly how much electricity will be consumed, TenneT must make up the difference with its own energy reserves.  In the Netherlands TenneT is the sole grid operater, in Germany we therefore cooperate closely with the other German TSOs to limit the need for this control power. When we do have to buy electricity we do so on the market in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner. We announce how much power we require on the online balancing power market (, where producers can offer capacity and customers can see the tenders.

Since 2006 TenneT has been working closely with other European TSOs and power exchanges on the physical and commercial interconnection of the Northwest European electricity market. The aim is to create a single market where consumers can rely on security of supply at a fair price.

We have completed, or are in the process of completing, projects with our international partners to link up the European markets and improve cross-border cooperation:

  • Market coupling: Belgium - France - Netherlands (2008)
  • Market coupling: Germany - Belgium - France - Netherlands (2010)
  • Cross-border intraday trading (2011)
  • Intraday trading with Norway (2012) and the UK (2012)
  • North West European market coupling: Scandinavia - the UK - Central West Europe (2014)
  • Multi-regional coupling (MRC): North West Europe - South West Europe (2014). This MRC paves the way for a further expansion of a model for a single, integrated price-coupled European day-ahead market.
  • CWE flow-based market coupling (2015)

European cooperation

TenneT, member of ENTSO-E

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) is a collaboration of 42 grid operators (TSOs) from 34 countries who work together in a number of key areas. These include the development of technical and market-related grid codes and coordinating system operation and grid development. As a member of ENTSO-E, TenneT is helping to build a more integrated European electricity market, contributing to a sustainable energy landscape, and ensuring the secure and reliable operation of the European power transmission system.

Visit for an overview of the members of ENTSO-E.

  • Project timeline

  • 1993: Scandinavian markets coupled

    The Scandinavian countries were among the first in Europe to deregulate their electricity markets and trade electricity across the region in implicit auctions.

  • 1999: Europe’s first independent energy exchange

    The Amsterdam Power Exchange (APX) was the first independent electronic exchange in mainland Europe for day ahead auctions (trading today for electricity delivered tomorrow).  The Dutch spot market trading platform is APX Power NL. There are also trading platforms in the UK and Belgium. TenneT Holding BV is the majority shareholder in APX; the rest of the shares are held by Belgian TSO Elia System Operator NV.

  • 2000: Central auction office

    TenneT joined forces with Belgian TSO Elia and Germany’s  E.ON Netz and RWE Netz, to set up TSO Auction BV, a central auction office for cross-border production capacity. Its activities were transferred to CASC.EU in 2012.

  • 2006: Trilateral Market Coupling (TLC)

    The implicit market coupling of the Netherlands, Belgium and France was an important step towards the integration of the North West European electricity markets.

  • 2008: Coupling Central West Europe

    TSOs in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg set up CASC-CWE (Capacity Allocation Service Company, Central West Europe)  as a joint trading platform to execute explicit long-term auctions (annual and monthly). Its activities have since expanded to include TSOs in Italy, Switzerland and Scandinavia. In 2010, the name changed to CASC-EU.

  • 2008: Coupling Central Eastern Europe

    The Central Allocation Office GmbH (CAO) was founded in 2008 as a single point of registration for capacity auctions in Central Eastern Europe, allocating cross-border electricity transmission capacity in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

  • 2008: Coupling CWE and Nordics

    The European Market Coupling Company (EMMC) was founded in Hamburg in 2008 to couple the CWE and Nordic regions. Its first interconnection was between Germany and Denmark in 2009. Subsequently, the Baltic Cable linked Germany and Sweden and the NorNed cable connected Norway and the Netherlands.

  • 2011: UK coupling

    The UK joined to the Dutch day-ahead market via the BritNed cable in 2011, bringing Europe a step closer to integrating day ahead markets in Europe.

  • 2014: Coupling North West Europe

    The day ahead markets in North Western Europe (NWE) were successfully coupled in February 2014, enabling electricity to be traded from France to Finland under a common day ahead electricity price calculation. This laid the foundation for multi-regional coupling and in May 2014, the NWE region was coupled with south western Europe, linking markets and TSOs all the way down to Portugal.

  • 2015: CWE Flow Based Market Coupling

    Market Coupling optimizes the efficiency of power trading by allocating cross-border transmission capacity between the different coupled spot markets, while ensuring that the physical limits of the grid are respected. In so doing, market coupling narrows price spreads between national power markets and increases social welfare for the involved countries.

  • 2020: Towards a single European electricity market?

    TenneT’s vision is to have a fully integrated electricity market by 2020. This will enable a better flow of electricity across borders, guaranteeing even greater security of supply and making electricity prices across Europe more uniform – and cheaper for end users.

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