5 November 2002 – A new method to predict transmission congestion across Europe’s electricity grid has gained acceptance by the 35 members making up the Union for the Co-ordination of Electricity Transmission (UCTE).

The new system was first put into operation in October and acts as an early warning to predict and reduce congestion across the transmission systems in the 21 European countries.

Liberalization of the European electricity market has brought major changes and challenges to the Transmission environment, according to UTCE. The UCTE grid was originally designed to centrally optimize operation in both a technical and economic way. In the liberalized market, where integrated companies no longer exist and each generator and supplier wishes that restrictions be reduced to a minimum, higher and more unpredictable power flows as well as a dramatic increase in congestion arise on the European grid when transmission line capacities cannot cope with energy flows.

The UCTE Day Ahead Congestion Forecast means a methodology to detect possible congestion during the system operation planning phase “today for tomorrow”. Resolving the problem of congestion requires carrying out daily load-flow forecasts for which the exchange of data between neighbouring transmission system operators (TSO) is indispensable and allows account to be taken of the influence of a neighbouring network to the next one.

Being aware of likely load flows allows TSOs to react in time to ensure security of supply and batter use of system capabilities.