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Parliamentary questions
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26 April 2021
Answer given by Ms Simson
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000275/2021

According to the information available to the Commission, a failure in a substation in Croatia appears to have led to a series of cascading failures and ultimately to the separation of the synchronous area in two areas. However, the exact root causes of the incident and their physical location are not yet known.

Based on the available information, communication and coordination tools among transmission system operators and with the Commission and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators ( ACER) appear to have worked well, in line with the new rules for coordinated grid operation and coordination in emergency situations(1). This prevented a major disturbance in the system and the programmed disconnection of customers, such as in 2006.

In accordance with EU legislation, a technical investigation panel has been set up. An interim report published on 26 February provides a first collection of facts but the incident is still under investigation. The technical panel will look into the causes with the aim to publish a detailed report on the incident by summer 2021. It is therefore too early to draw any conclusion, including with respect to prices.

Interruptible services were part of the counter-measures automatically triggered at the beginning of the incident, which, pending the conclusions of the technical investigation, appear to have contributed positively to stabilise the system.

As for the level of interconnection between Member States ‐connecting electricity markets, including sharing of reserves, remains the best insurance against national electricity deficits, and the electricity market design legislation(2) in place ensures that electricity can flow across borders also in times when it is most needed.

(1)See Regulations (EU) 2017/1485 and (EU) 2017/2196
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