Network September 2019

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Europe by a series of cables and pipelines, which supply a significant proportion of the country's energy. While fears that these transmission lines might be "switched off " in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit are unfounded (not least because this would be almost impossible to do), if and when the UK becomes a third country, these cables and pipes will no longer be treated as EU interconnectors. This means that both mer - chant interconnector operators and UK-based TSOs – including National Grid – will have their certifications revisited and their status amended to reflect the less favourable trading terms afforded by the EU to third countries. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK will almost cer - tainly be excluded from the EU's Internal Electricity Market (IEM) market-coupling system. This cross-border allocation mechanism designed to inte - grate EU wholesale power mar- kets by making capacities im- plicitly available on exchanges, rather than explicitly auctioning them to users, greatly reduces or even removes price differences in electricity across borders. As a net importer of energy, if the UK moves outside the coupling system and is forced instead to engage in bilateral energy trading with Member States, the chances are that UK domestic energy prices will increase noticeably. Being excluded from the day-ahead coupling mechanism will also mean the UK is likely to have to conduct more intra-day trading, which is much less ef - ficient, even if it does not prove obviously disruptive. For most energy companies, including a handful of merchant interconnectors, the short-to- medium term burdens will be mostly administrative, but the longer-term outlook is uncertain and depends largely whether the UK remains in lockstep with the EU in areas such as network codes. How and to what extent the UK implements codes to main - tain some degree of alignment with the EU remains to be seen, particularly with respect to the EU's Clean Energy Package. What next for interconnectors? Under the EU's Clean Energy Package, each EU Member State is required to dra" integrated national energy and climate plans for 2021 to 2030, outlin- ing how they will achieve their respective targets. Not all of the package's final text has been enacted and what remains to be finalised – includ- ing the new Electricity Directive and what is anticipated to be an expanded role for ACER – will likely have important implica - tions for the interconnector industry. If ACER's powers are en- hanced, this should lend more uniformity and certainty to decision-making on intercon- nectors, leaving less to the discretion of NRAs. These measures, coupled with a renewed impetus to reach the EU's interconnection targets and emissions goals, should create a positive support framework for the interconnec - tor industry. However, work still needs to be done to level the play- ing field between public and private interconnector projects, if transmission capacity is to be expanded fast enough to meet policy targets and consumer energy demand. Regulatory adjustments will also be needed, including a potential overhaul of the TEN-E regulations, which have not been amended to reflect recent shi"s in energy policy. In particular, there needs to be realignment to make sure money is going to the right places promptly to fulfil policy – something which is currently under review by the European Commission. David Haverbeke, Lis Bluns - don (regulatory) and Yohanna Weber (planning) are partners specialising in energy projects and infrastructure at Fieldfisher. NETWORK / 27 / SEPTEMBER 2019 Tony Wills, application engineer at Megger, discusses the importance of using scanners to detect insulation faults. If you work with medium- voltage (MV) switchgear or cables, a handheld partial discharge (PD) scanner provides a reliable way of detecting insulation faults before they progress to potentially dangerous failures. The scanners measure PD activity, a reliable early- warning indicator of insulation deterioration. Good scanners can use a range of internal and external sensors, which means that they are exceptionally versatile, and the best have intuitive software. PD scanners are particularly suitable for use in transformer/distribution substations to make an initial assessment that the working area is safe, and for the inspection of switchgear. They are also ideal for surveying voltage and current transformers, terminations, bushings and other HV components, such as air- isolated busbars. In addition, the scanners can be used for making quick online PD measurements on cables. The scanners detect radio frequency emissions produced by PD faults, so no direct connections are needed to the asset under investigation, which is a very important safety benefit. The asset remains energised throughout the test, without the need for disruptive outages. The latest scanners evaluate the PD data to give a clear indication of situations where action is needed to ensure safe operation of the asset. Failures in MV installations can be dangerous, often leading to long downtimes and high costs. Scanners detect potential weaknesses, allowing them to be resolved before they develop further. This means scanner users can make big savings and avoid service interruptions that might incur large penalties. For further information email: I N D U S T RY I N S I G H T The first line of defence for MV systems

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