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Energy Industry

Given TenneT’s vital role in society to keep electricity flowing in our markets, what we do matters to a wide range of stakeholders. 

Read more about our stakeholders

Grid operators

The electricity grid is installed, managed and maintained by the Dutch and German grid operators. The grid operators are also responsible for connecting customers to the electricity network without prejudice.

The Dutch electricity grid

The Dutch electricity grid is installed, managed and maintained by the grid operators. TenneT operates the national high-voltage grid, while low-voltage electricity (150 kV or less) is transmitted by regional grid operators. The grid operators are also responsible for connecting customers to the electricity network without prejudice.

As the designated Transmission System Operator (TSO) of the DutchNetherlands’ high-voltage grid, TenneT has additional statutory duties. These include:

  • System services such as maintaining  the balance between electricity supply and demand
  • Securing a safe and reliable electricity supply
  • Importing and exporting electricity
  • Maintaining the system of programme responsibility parties 
The German electricity grid

In Germany, the operators of the high-voltage grids, i.e. the 220 and 380 kV grids, are designated as Transmission System Operators. The Transmission System Operators are responsible for the secure transmission of energy, whereby they constantly monitor the balance between the demand for and provision of power and intervene in the market if necessary. In addition, they are responsible for the maintenance of the grid and its expansion as needed. In Germany, there are four Transmission System Operators, each of which is responsible for their control area. With a network ranging from the Danish border down to the Austrian border, TenneT is the largest Transmission System Operator. The TenneT system runs from north to south through the middle of Germany. Amprion GmbH, headquartered in Dortmund, is responsible for the transmission grid in western Germany (bordering on the Netherlands). The network in eastern Germany is operated by 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, headquartered in Berlin. TransnetBW, headquartered in Stuttgart, operates the transmission grid in Baden-Württemberg.


Dutch regulation

Independent regulatory authorities are therefore used to monitor and control the activities of the TSOs. These are, in the Netherlands the Dutch Autoriteit Consument en Markt (Consumer & Markets Inspectorate (ACM)) and in Germany the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA). Their tasks are to balance the interests between electricity end consumers, i.e. household customers and companies, and the grid operators, while pursuing the goals of the tension triangle of sustainability, affordable energy prices and security of supply set out in the Energy Industry Act (EnWG). 

The regulatory authorities fulfil this task through regular cost controls of the network operators and in particular by means of benchmarking, in which comparable network operators are compared with each other and thus encouraged to reduce costs. In this way, the regulators set incentives for efficient operations and determine the allowed return on investment. The key parameters of the regulatory framework in the Netherlands and Germany are set for a period of five years. In 2022, the eighth regulatory period started in the Netherlands, which runs until the end of 2026. In Germany, we are currently in the third regulatory period, which runs until the end of 2023.

Regulation through financial incentives (incentive regulation) currently takes place in both the Netherlands and Germany. Basically, a bonus-malus model is used to motivate the TSO to achieve the objectives of the regulators. In this procedure, the TSOs have a corresponding margin of discretion to generate profits when making decisions for a specific operation. The allowed regulatory revenues set by the regulators thereby correspond to the costs of an efficient TSO and include operating costs, depreciation and the capital costs necessary for network expansion, as shown in the figure below.

energy industry Regulators

The interconnection of the transmission system operators at European level as well as their legally prescribed cooperation in European bodies requires a coordination of the activities of the national regulatory authorities at European level. Based on the Third European Internal Market Directive, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) was therefore founded on 3 March 2011, which acts as a European regulatory authority and thus complements the national regulatory authorities.

ACER contributes to the smooth functioning of the European electricity and gas market. The agency's tasks include complementing and coordinating the work of national regulatory authorities. Furthermore, ACER participates in the development of regulations for European networks and, in the context of this, also takes binding individual decisions on the provisions for access to cross-border infrastructures and their operational security. ACER also acts as an advisory body to EU institutions on energy issues. In addition, the agency reports on developments in the electricity market and monitors both these and wholesale energy markets to identify and prevent market abuse. This is done in close cooperation with national regulators.

For more information

Visit the website of the Dutch or German regulator