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Power Exchanges reinforce grid reliability and can bring back innovation with healthier competition

EPEX SPOT hosts global APEx annual conference in Brussels

Brussels / Paris, 10 November 2017.

From 24 to 26 October 2017, the Association of Power Exchanges APEx held its 22nd annual conference, gathering actors of the energy industry from around the world to discuss trends and challenges in global power markets. APEx is an international organisation uniting Power Exchanges from around the world, with 50 member organisations acting globally. During several panel discussions 135 participants from 30 nations were able to debate topics such as risk management in markets and operations, energy market integrations in Europe, the Americas, the Middle-East and Asia, as well as the impact of renewables, digitalisation and market governance. The event was hosted by the European Power Exchange EPEX SPOT and took place in Brussels, Belgium. The first day of the three-day conference was organised in cooperation with GO15. Founded in 2004, GO15 is a voluntary initiative of the world’s 18 largest Power Grid Operators representing together more than 70% of the world’s electricity demand.

Throughout the first day of the conference, a recurring theme was the ability for the markets, when designed properly, to reinforce reliable grid operations. The first session on risk management identified the expansion of markets to distribution grids, and cybersecurity of markets as well as operations as main challenges to overcome in the age of prosumer electricity generation and digitalisation. Coordination on all levels of the value chain, innovation and transparency were identified as key factors to tackle these issues related to the Energy Transition.

During the session on the impact of energy market integrations, the activities of power exchanges came into focus. On the one hand, power exchanges provide market access to customers and manage bids, offers and clearing; on the other hand, they cooperate to run the algorithm that provides prices and flows. It was stated that despite all the advantages of European market integration, the latter has led to a regulatory framework which hampers innovation and the introduction of new products. The panellists agreed that a look at market structures outside of Europe could be a worthwhile step to advance the European discourse.

Despite the inherently local nature of electricity systems – all operations of the energy value chain started off as local or regional initiatives – the challenges the sector is facing are comparable on a global level. “By allowing its members to exchange thoughts and ideas about macro trends such as digitalization and renewables, and by sharing best practices to tackle these issues, the Association of Power Exchanges aims to contribute to the global discourse on energy markets.” says Stu Bresler, Chairman of APEx. ”This annual APEx conference was a great opportunity to look beyond the horizon in any one area of the world, and to grasp the challenges and developments of power markets on a global level,” adds Jean-François Conil-Lacoste, Chairman of the Management Board of EPEX SPOT.

The presentations held during the event can be found on the APEx website: http://www.theapex.org/resources/conference-papers/2017-apex-conference-papers


The Association of Power Exchanges APEx is an international organisation bringing together Power Exchanges from around the world, with 50 member organisations acting globally. APEx was formed to facilitate development and communication of ideas and practices in the operation of global competitive electricity markets. One of the association’s primary intentions is to provide a platform for sharing information between its members.

The APEx conference is held annually; with 2017 being the 22nd edition of the conference.

The European Power Exchange EPEX SPOT SE operates physical short-term electricity markets in Central Western Europe and the United Kingdom. The creation of a pan-European power market is what defines EPEX SPOT’s mission. In 2016, its 278 members traded 529 TWh – a third of the domestic consumption in the eight countries covered. 49% of its equity is held by HGRT, a holding of transmission system operators. EPEX SPOT is part of EEX Group. For more information, please visit www.epexspot.com.