Blog March 01, 2019

Following REMIT regulation adopted by the European Union in 2011, outage Urgent Market Messages (UMM) became an integral part of the European power market.

Article 4 of REMIT introduced the obligation to “Disclose inside information, including information relevant to facilities for production, storage, consumption or transmission of electricity or natural gas, or information related to the capacity and use of LNG facilities, including planned or unplanned unavailability of these facilities.”

This is truly a case where if you do not know something, it may work against you. Market participants must be aware of any new outages or changes and updates to previous outage announcements. This is easier said than done since many sources publish outage data with messages that vary wildly in format and style.

Unplanned Outage Messages in Europe
Figure 1: Descriptive statistics of unplanned outage message delays in Europe. Click to enlarge

At Genscape we leverage PowerRT, a smart and flexible system to collect relevant messages and process them for reporting in a unified format. Publication delays of outage UMMs cause change in the production of electricity. This change in generation impacts the supply stack, which influences the marginal cost of production and power prices. Therefore, it is important to know how often the outage UMMs are published after its start and duration of delay.

The map in Figure 1 shows the breakdown per country of the frequency and delay of outage UMMs.

Genscape’s Unique Methodology

To process the outage UMMs, we only look at unplanned unavailability of generation. Every planned outage or change in transmission is left out of our analysis.

Within the unplanned events, several message statuses include: active, open, cancelled, new, closed, reported, unplanned or updated. According to the status of the message, Genscape processes and compiles the outage UMM.

Any time the outage UMM publishes before or at the same time as the start of the event, it is not included in the analysis.

When investigating the delays in outage UMMs against the beginning of the outage itself, many outliers are present, skewing the results (e.g. longer duration of delays between the beginning of an unplanned outage and the publication of its UMM). Therefore, instead of looking at the average time of delays, we look at the median time.

Statistics on Greece are not included in the Outage Map because there is no history of unplanned outage UMMs. Similarly, Slovakia has a limited history of unplanned outage UMMs to provide sound analysis (i.e. descriptive statistics of 100 percent late UMM at a median delay of 56 hours).

Types of UMM Sources

At Genscape, we provide extensive coverage of the European power market. We collect, aggregate, and process every UMM from 52 different sources. Figure 2 represents these sources with their weight in number of units covered.

Number of Units Per Outage Source
Figure 2: Chart showing the number of units per outage source. Click to enlarge


German electricity generators almost systematically publish unplanned outages UMMs with a short delay (92 percent of the time), which is the lowest in Europe (18-minute delay on average between the beginning of the unplanned outage and the publication of the UMM).

Conversely, Italian generators publish unplanned outage UMMs more on time than any other country in Europe (outage publications are published after they began 44.2 percent of the time). However, when the message is late, its delay is amongst the highest in Europe (24-hour delays on average between the beginning of the unplanned outage and the publication of the UMM). Northern European generators (BE, NL, DK, NO, SE, FI, LT, LV) are in the European average, with unplanned outage UMM publication around 80 percent of the time late, with a delay of around 1-2 hours.

With Genscape’s PowerRT platform, market participants can stay ahead of the game by looking at live generation of power plants per unit from our own proprietary monitors. With our services you can stay alert of any generation changes per plant or per unit before an official announcement. Contact us for more information and to receive a market edge.