The European legal framework influences Elia’s activities in a number of ways. European law establishes the general framework for the European electricity market, the European Network Codes lay out more technical rules, and various directives set Europe’s climate targets.
This package sets out to:
- increase cross-border trade and strengthen cooperation between Member States to achieve a better integrated EU market;
- provide more flexibility with a view to integrating the growing share of renewable energy sources into the electricity system;
- introduce a comprehensive consumer protection framework, coupled with more rights for consumers;
- promote investment in line with market requirements and encourage the decarbonisation of the EU energy system;
- ensure that the EU is better prepared for electricity crises, including through cross-border cooperation;
- enhance the role of ACER, which takes action at EU level for the benefit of all EU citizens.
Visit the European Commission’s website for more information.
The basic legal framework governing the European electricity market includes:
- Directive (EU) 2019/944 on common rules for the internal market for electricity and amending Directive 2012/27/EU;
- Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003;
- the ACER Regulation (proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators).
The Network Codes can be divided into three interconnected ‘families’:
- connection codes;
- operations codes; and
- market codes.
The codes are:
- the Network Code on Requirements for Generators (NC RfG);
- the Demand Connection Code (NC DCC); and
- the Network Code on High Voltage Direct Current Connections (NC HVDC).
- emergencies and the restoration of the electricity grid (Emergency and Restoration Code – E&R).
- establishing a guideline on electricity transmission system operation (System Operation - SO).
The market codes play a crucial role in achieving Europe’s goal of a fully integrated single market for electricity. They lay down harmonised rules to allow not only energy, but also available capacity to be traded between Europe’s national transmission systems.
The market codes are structured around the different time scales in which these trades can take place, namely long-term, day-ahead and intraday, and aim to foster competition, encourage the diversification of generation sources and facilitate the optimisation of the existing infrastructure. The codes are:
- the Guideline on Capacity Allocation & Congestion Management (CAM GL);
- the Network Code on Forward Capacity Allocation (NC FCA);
- the Electricity Balancing Guideline (EB GL).
For more information, visit dedicated web page: https://electricity.network-codes.eu/network_codes/.
Regulation establishing a Network Code on Demand Connection
Regulation establishing a network code on requirements for grid connection of high voltage direct current systems and direct current-connected power park modules
Regulation establishing a guideline on forward capacity allocation
Regulation of 2 August 2017 establishing a guideline on electricity transmission system operation
The EB GL sets down rules regarding the operation of the balancing markets, i.e. those markets that Transmission System Operators (TSOs) use to procure energy and capacity to keep the system in balance in real time. The guideline’s provisions include increasing opportunities for cross-border trading in near-real time and improve the efficiency of balancing markets in Europe.
This document was published in the Official Journal as Regulation (EU) 2017/296 on 28 November 2017 and became binding in the EU Member States on 18 December 2017.
Although some European legislation is directly applicable in the Member States (and thus in Belgium), some needs to be transposed into the Member States’ legislation. Moreover, the scope of this legislation may be broader or more detailed at European level.
The basic legislation for each level is based on similar principles:
- there is a legal separation between generation and sale on the one hand and system operation on the other;
- the transmission system operator retains a monopoly linked to strict rules of corporate governance;
- there is free access to the system at the approved and published tariffs;
- the system is monitored by a regulator;
- all of the governments have the power to lay down public service obligations with regard to the areas under their responsibility. As a result of these obligations, Elia, as the transmission system operator, must guarantee a minimum quality level for electricity at all levels and is required for instance to purchase green certificates at a minimum price level when legally defined conditions are met.
Elia has a legal monopoly as Belgium’s transmission system operator. This licence is valid for 20 years and can be renewed.
The basic legislation at federal level is as follows: the Act amending the Electricity Act of 29 April 1999 on the organisation of the electricity market (published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 8 January 2012), and the Royal Decree establishing a grid code governing operation of and access to the electricity transmission system.
The regions are responsible for ALL ASPECTS OF the distribution OF ELECTRICITY and TECHNICAL ASPECTS of local transmission of electricity through grids with a nominal voltage of 70 kV or less.
- local transmission system (in Wallonia);
- regional transmission system (in the Brussels-Capital Region);
- local transmission system (in Flanders).
The three regions are also responsible for renewable energy sources (excluding federally governed North Sea wind farms) and the rational use of energy (RUE).
- Flanders: the Energy Decree of 8 May 2009, the Energy Decision of 19 November 2010, and the Grid Code on the local electricity transmission system in the Flemish Region;
- Wallonia: the Decree of 12 April 2001, and the Walloon Government Decision on the reform of the grid code governing operation of and access to the electricity transmission system in the Walloon Region;
- Brussels-Capital Region: the Ordinance of 19 July 2001, and the Decision of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region approving the grid code governing the operation of the regional electricity transmission system.
On 17 May 2018, after public consultation, Elia submitted the general requirements concerning the NC DCC and the NC RfG to the competent authorities The regional regulators (Cwape, Brugel & VREG) approved these documents on 28/08/2019, 04/09/2019 and 01/09/2019 respectively.General Requirements following Art. 6(4) of the NC DCC
This document is the approved version of the requirements of general application (hereinafter 'general requirements'), pursuant to Article 6(4) of the NC DCC and contains, but is not limited to, the non-exhaustive requirements in the NC DCC determined by Elia as relevant system operator or TSO, and by public DSOs in their capacity as relevant system operator. This document applies to the connections to the Elia grid at regional level and the connections at distribution level.
General Requirements following Art. 7(4) of the NC RFG
This document is the approved version of the requirements of general application in accordance with Article 7(4) of the NC RfG. This document focuses on, but is not limited to, the non-exhaustive requirements in the NC RFG. This document applies to connections to the Elia grid at regional level. For connections to the Elia grid at federal level, the general requirements in accordance with article 6, paragraph 4 of the NC DCC and article 7, paragraph 4 of the NC RfG are included in the federal grid code of 22 April 2019.