How Insightful is Transparency Data?

How Insightful is Transparency Data?
Blog February 12, 2019

The internet is buzzing with power market transparency data. Search the web for any Transmission System Operator (TSO) and you’ll find numbers on wind and solar production, generation by fuel type, cross border flows, or the real gem: REMIT data. You name it and with the help of Google and some key word search, you can find it. There are several available resources that publish these similar categories of data, but the format and style of their messages vary wildly. So let me ask you this: which one do you choose?

ENTSO-E Unavailability
Figure 1 – ENTSO-E Unavailability for Lanzada. Click to enlarge

Sure, almost all market participants already know of the larger platforms like ENTSO-E and EEX, which aim to provide transparency for several countries. But is this data meaningful? What sort of value does true ‘transparency’ data alone provide you?

Take for example ENTSO-E (Figure 1). The source republished an “unavailability” received from another provider for Lanzada in Italy. The reported unavailability is unfortunately confusing to the market: the available capacity listed in the message itself states the plant is operational, during a period where the plant is reported as unavailable.

In fact, there are many data points from ENTSO-E that create similar conflicting, and thus irrelevant, signals for a user, including disappearing or duplicative messages derived from the same initial source. This is clear in the outage for Schwarze Pumpe Block B (Figure 2). The first message states the outage will begin on 25 June, while the second reports the unavailability starts on the 26. What time did the outage really start?

ENTSO-E Conflicting Messages
Figure 2: Sample ENTSO-E Conflicting Messages for Schwarze Pumpe Block B. Click to enlarge

This problem is not unique to one source or country. Centrica, a smaller niche source, reports outages for the United Kingdom through a series of outage message updates. When using their platform, you’ll face similar challenges. For example, the name of the plants/units are encoded. There are discrepancies with in single message outage plans, where some of the older messages are reported as ‘cancelled’, while others are still ‘active’. In short, reporting can be inconsistent and messy within just one public source.

Centrica Outage
Figure 3: Sample of Centrica outage updates for Plant Barry (E_BRYP-1). Click to enlarge

So now, maybe I convinced you that a single public source may not be the right choice for your business. Because you need this data, for either modeling or analysis, your other option is to collect from multiple sources.

Compiling data streams from multiple sources is complex. For one, every source publishes and normalises content according to their own rules, making it difficult to find and compare the same information. Let’s try and find information on the unavailability of Lanzada, reported in ENTSO-E (Figure1), from Gestore Mercati Energetico (GME) (Figure 4).

Outage Information
Figure 4: Outage information for Lanzada from GME and ENTSO-E. Click to enlarge

The unit exists in GME and is relatively simple to find because both sources refer to this unit by the same name. However, there is no way to validate either outage due to the mismatch of information. In ENTSO-E, an outage begins on 29 October 2018 7:59 CET and ends on 16 January 2019 15:59 CET. However, GME only has one active message with a similar event start time (29 October, 8:00 CET), and the outage ‘ends’ on 29 October 2018 at 16:49 CET (Figure 4). Moreover, the unavailable capacity of Lanzada from GME is never reported as zero, meaning the available capacity reported from ENTSO-E of 350 megawatts (MW) (full capacity) cannot be verified.

In this complex data landscape, how can you make the most informed judgement call to ensure your model run is representative of the real world to make a successful trade? What noise does this fundamental data introduce into your modelling when sources are inconsistent? How large of an investment would it be for you to collect and manage all datasets, and keep up with changing formats and new source locations? To answer these questions, you need analytical resources and additional time for initial research and data collection.

So, now you're probably wondering, well then, what does Genscape do to provide time saving, actionable solutions?

Depending on your use case, we have several products customized for your needs. If you’re interested in the long-term impact of a retiring plant or unit, you can understand the effect by running a sensitivity analysis in EPSI. If you want to validate an outage reported, PowerRT shows the real-time generation of a plant alongside the expected availability. If you have your own models, you can easily input the data collected by Genscape into them using the new API. Regardless of your needs, there are multiple options for our data integration and use.

#1 Genscape Normalises Names

Whether you are retrieving data via our new API, getting your outages from EPSI or viewing them in PowerRT, you can feel confident that the names of plants and units are consistent across all platforms. This enables you to compare different sources of “truth” to identify discrepancies and decide which public source to trust. In Figure 5 you can clearly see the differences between two sources, with a slight difference in capacity reduction.

PowerRT Outages
Figure 5: PowerRT Outages Reported for Rostock from EnBW and ENTSO-E. Click to enlarge

#2 Genscape Does the Research for You

Genscape collects outage data from over 50 unique sources for more than 30 countries and continuously monitors all sources for any changes, such as updated URLs and reformatting. To ensure a continuous and steady flow of accurate data, our expert analysts constantly research new and alternative sources for reliable data.

#3 Genscape Removes Irrelevant Market Signals

You won’t miss important signals hidden among irrelevant or conflicting messages. We provide you with the most up to date information for each plant and source. Additionally, we provide you with an availability curve, processing all the information into a comprehensive overview for each plant, for each source.

Turning data into relevant information is a difficult process and Genscape aims to help you stay up-to-date on changes in the market by collecting and processing the data for you. While we covered outage information, we also provide similar services related to other datasets, including real-time generation per unit, and forecast total demand by country – just to name a few.

So, I will leave it to you to decide. Is transparency data alone valuable enough?