In Europe, power plants based on fossil fuels are being replaced by more distributed renewable production, most notably wind and solar. These intermittent resources lead to larger fluctuation in production. This presents the TSOs with a challenge, when balancing supply and demand.

The TSOs must always keep a simultaneous balance between production and consumption. Moving from 60 to 15 minutes imbalance settlement period will reduce structural imbalances, which stem from the hourly contracts in the energy market combined with continuous changes in consumption. New tools, automation, and a change to 15 min market time unit (MTU) in the balancing markets will enhance the TSOs ability to keeping the balance in the future. The market participants will be able to adjust their positions through the 15 minutes intraday market.

15 minutes metering and settlement
15 minutes imbalance settlement period (ISP) will be implemented in the Nordic countries from 22 May 2023. eSett Oy will calculate the quarterly imbalances and invoice these. From the same date, the reported settlement data will have a quarterly resolution.

Elhub is a neutral datahub that handles all metering data and market processes in the Norwegian electricity market. From 22 May 2023 Elhub will report the settlement data with 15 minutes resolution to eSett. Meter values for production (with the exception of prosumers), exchange between meter grid areas and large consumption will be reported to Elhub with 15 minutes resolution. In addition, non-residential customers shall be given the opportunity to report quarterly values. With a few exceptions, all other meters will continue with an hourly resolution. Elhub will transform hourly values to quarterly values either by profiling (consumption) or by dividing by four (exchange towards sub nets and prosumers) before reporting to eSett.

15 minutes market time unit in the energy markets
The European platform for continuous intraday trade, SIDC, already have functionality for 15 minutes MTU. Trade across bidding zone is already taking place outside the Nordics. When Nordic balancing responsible parties (BRPs) are settled each quarter, they must have the possibility to trade themselves in balance with the same resolution. Intraday trade through the SIDC gives that opportunity. At the same time, European TSOs and power exchanges are developing an intraday auction. Auctions will take place at 15.00 and 22.00 (CET) the day before the operating day (D-1) and at 10.00 (CET) the operating day (D).

By 1. January 2025 all EU and EEA countries shall have 15 minutes ISP. This is also the deadline for the transition to 15 minutes MTU in the day ahead market. The Nordic countries are planning to move to 15 minutes MTU in the day ahead market as early as possible in order to make the transition phase between 60 and 15 minutes MTU as short as possible.