Harmonising the Imbalance Markets in the Nordics: Interview with Volue’s Bård Mageli

Bård Mageli represents Norwegian Balance Responsible Parties (BRPs) in eSett’s Customer Committee. Here, he talks about the need to build a common understanding of the very complex imbalance system.


Jul 13, 2022

Photo of Bård Mageli

Owned by the four Nordic Transmission System Operators – Energinet (Denmark), Fingrid (Finland), Statnett (Norway) and Svenska kraftnät (Sweden), eSett provides imbalance settlement services to over 1,000 electricity market participants in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

In eSett’s Customer Committee, Bård Mageli, Head of Physical Portfolio Management at Volue's Market Services, represents Norwegian Balance Responsible Parties. In addition, he has a broad view of the Norwegian market and its needs.

eSett’s Customer Committee is an important forum for building a common understanding of a very complex system between the different parties in the four countries.

“Norwegian Transmission System Operator Statnett has a similar committee, so I hear the views of BRPs, producers, consumers, and larger industrial customers. I can take all their views on board and bring them to eSett,” Mageli says.

The goal is to harmonise the way the markets work in Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. With similar methods and ways of working, market participants will find it easier to expand to new markets, and this will increase competition and give consumers more choices.

“We all have the same goal of harmonising the markets, but it is evident that this is a challenge. That is why this forum is so important. We can get input and give input – that is the best thing.”

The topics discussed in the committee meetings can be relayed to market participants to get their feedback and help them prepare for future changes.

Going forward, Bård Mageli would like to see even more players having the opportunity to get their voices heard.

The minutes of the meetings can be found on eSett website, but market participants need to contact committee members to get their ideas conveyed to the committee.

“I think we should make the Customer Committee better known among the market participants, as the more input we get, the more efficient we can become in developing the electricity market for the future. After all, interest in the electricity market is growing and it is, in fact, becoming of interest to everyone.”

This interview was first published in eSett’s Annual Report 2021.

What is an imbalance settlement?

In the electricity market, the production and use of electricity should always be balanced. Each balance responsible party must plan their operations and strive to maintain this balance. But in practice, there will always be deviations from the plans; these deviations are called imbalances. eSett calculates imbalances for each Balance Responsible Party (BRP) and makes sure each party is paid and invoiced correctly.

Imbalance settlement is based on a harmonised model throughout the Nordics, so the operating conditions are the same for all Balance Responsible Parties. This increases competition on the Nordic markets. This indirectly helps make electricity market operations more efficient to the benefit of consumers.

Information from eSett.