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System services

System services are the services TenneT provides to guarantee the flow of electricity in the Netherlands and large parts of Germany.

The Netherlands

These are the services TenneT provides to guarantee the flow of electricity in the Netherlands, resolve large-scale disruptions and maintain the balance between electricity supply and demand.
The system services are set out in the System Code. When we provide these services we must also fulfil the international commitments agreed by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E).


In case prognoses fall short, TenneT will have to settle the difference with its own energy reserves. In order to keep the need for regulating capacity as small as possible, TenneT coordinates matters closely with the other German TSOs. And if we need regulating capacity, we purchase it on the energy market, which we have been doing in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory manner since 2001.
The required capacity is put to tender on the appropriate market ( On this market, power-plant operators can offer the capacity they have available, and consumers can view the tenders.

Maintaining the balance

TenneT continuously monitors and maintains the balance between the electricity supply and demand on the Dutch and part of the German grid. If this balance is disrupted it may result in a power outage or even a black-out, depending on the length and severity of the imbalance.

Whether the balance can be achieved, maintained and restored depends on three factors:

  • All connected parties take the required Balance Responsibility and specify how much they expect to feed into and take out of the grid each day;
  • TenneT calculates and deploys the reserve and emergency power that connected parties supply;
  • TenneT and the Balance Responsible parties offset imbalances according to the imbalance pricing system.   

When there are not enough resources available to restore the balance, we can take additional measures – we have a mandate to prevent or limit potential damage to the power supply.