Nordpool, the power market of the Nordic countries, was established 1996 as the world’s first international electricity exchange. Since then, one power market after the other in the rest of Europe has been de-regulated. It is now a political goal to unify and unite the different European power markets to more efficiently utilize the production capacity. The German market is already coupled to the French, Dutch and Belgian markets. The plans are to integrate also Eastern Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) as well as Southern Europe (Italy and Greece) the following two years; certainly a great challenge.
It has also been a political goal to incentivise the installation of wind and solar power production, and the installed capacity has indeed increased massively during the last 10 years. The effects of these production volumes on the power market prices were not entirely foreseen and it also causes increasing balancing problems to be handled by the transmission system operators.
Switzerland, centrally located in Europe, has invested in flexible hydro power production, and could act as a “battery” to balance unpredictable wind and solar power production in neighbouring countries. This requires political decisions, investments in grid capacity, and increased skills in hydro power optimization.