ECC has a high level of expertise in the physical settlement of grid-bound energy (power, natural gas) and energy related products (emission allowances).
ECC is responsible for physical settlement of traded or registered contracts. Nomination includes scheduling of local markets of ECC’s Partner Exchanges and the nomination of cross-border power deliveries as part of various European market coupling initiatives. In this context, ECC assumes the role of the crossborder shipping entity, thus contributing to the further integration of the European electricity markets.
Furthermore, ECC is linked to the Union Registry to perform the delivery of emission allowances. Additionally, since 2016, ECC is connected to the French Registry for Capacity Guarantees.
ECC Physical Settlement
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Power and Natural Gas Process
Role of ECC and ECC Lux
As a Central Counterparty, ECC assumes the role of a market participant in the grid of the transmission system operators (TSOs). Physical Settlement is provided by ECC Lux which has concluded a balancing area agreement with all major European TSOs.
Nomination & Scheduling
In the French RTE market area and in the natural gas market, single-sided nomination is used. This means ECC is authorised to fulfil the physical nomination on behalf of each trading participant. In all other cases, the trading participant also has to submit a schedule.
ECC nominates the net position in the relevant product to the respective TSO within the timeframe specified.
Prerequisites and Responsibilities
Trading participants opting for physical settlement need a balancing area agreement with the relevant TSO. Alternatively, a third-party agreement permitting access to a balancing area can be concluded. For further details, please refer to the section Access to ECC.
From a legal perspective, Clearing Members are not involved in the physical settlement process as delivery is processed by ECC Lux. They act as a payment agent and guarantor.
The TSOs guarantee grid security through balancing of nominated amounts. In case of a mismatch, the special rules of the relevant transmission system operator apply.
ECC supports the vision of an integrated cross-border wholesale energy market in Europe. Together with its Partner Exchanges, network operators and trading participants, ECC is involved in various projects for connecting European electricity markets, the so-called Market Coupling.
Market Coupling Approach
By using the available transmission capacities between the different market areas, the following goals can be achieved:
- minimising differences in prices between two or more market areas
- ensuring convergence of power prices across regions
- reducing price volatility
- providing access to cross-border capacities.
through this, Market Coupling maximises the social welfare and supports the creation of a pan-European market area for power.
Role of ECC
Within the scope of Market Coupling, ECC cooperates closely with the European Power Exchange EPEX SPOT, which covers the German, Austrian, Swiss, French, Dutch, UK, Belgian, Polish and the Nordic (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland) market areas and the connected TSOs. With its connection to major TSOs across Europe and its expertise in providing physical settlement of power trades, ECC promotes the integration of regional markets towards a Europe-wide electricity market. As a dedicated clearing house, ECC provides clearing and settlement services for cross-border energy flows. It nominates the cross-border electricity flows to the transmission system operators (TSOs) and settles trades for all counterparties involved. ECC contributes to the overall welfare of the European power consumer / producer community by bundling the overall market liquidity and increasing the efficiency of the usage of cross border capacities.
Benefits for Suppliers and Customers
Market Coupling refers to the implicit day-ahead auction of cross-border capacities
- fair and efficient access to cross-border capacities,
- a reduction of price volatility and
- the convergence of power prices across regions.
ECC Clearing in the Framework of Market Coupling
Scheduling for Market Coupling
Emission Rights Process
Advantages of Settlement via ECC
ECC offers substantial expertise in the physical settlement of EUAs and CERs. Our external and internal account structure allows primary- and secondary-market EUAs to be segregated. ECC provides maximum security by guaranteeing the legal origin of the primary auction share of a given member’s EUA holdings.
A member can request a transfer of its holdings to any registry account at any time. The Registry Transfer Request has to be entered via the ECC Member Area. It needs to be approved according to the principle of dual control.
ECC checks the request against the members' actual holdings and subsequently initiates the transfer. As soon as the member has entered a Registry Transfer Request, its holdings are blocked. The account balance is updated after s successful transfer.
Prerequisites and Responsibilities
Before trading, the certificates have to be delivered to the ECC registry account. Trades are fulfilled by means of transfers between ECC's internal delivery accounts. There are no registry transactions.
Members have to ensure that they hold sufficient volumes in their account to fulfil their obligations on the delivery day. The expected balance of holdings is monitored. ECC contacts the member in case of a negative value. In case of non-delivery or a delivery default, ECC cancels the spot transaction or initiates a buy-in procedure.
After payment, the respective number of emissions is debited from the seller's account and the buyer's account is credited with said number of emissions. Internal account transfers are only possible from the primary market account to the secondary market account.
On 15th March 2021, European Energy Exchange AG (EEX) was awarded the contract for the sale of fuel emission allowances in the national Emissions Trading Scheme (nEHS) by the German Federal Environment Agency. Fuel emissions trading has been in force in Germany since 1st January 2021. The instrument will set a CO2 price for the heat and transport sectors at a national level for the first time, as previously this has not been covered by the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
All CO2-emitting fuels placed on the market, in particular petrol, diesel, heating oil, liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas and coal, are included in the nEHS. The obligated parties under the nEHS are those who place fuels on the market, for example natural gas suppliers or companies in the mineral oil industry.
To take part in the nEHS sell-off, a registration at the UBA Registry as well as at the nEHS Admission Portal is required. Participation in sell - offs is possible via intermediary or direct access.
Sell-offs take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 9.00 am – 3.00 pm (except for TARGET2 – holidays).
For Non-Clearing Members, Clearing Members and Direct Clearing Participants delivery of the certificates within the UBA Registry takes place one day after the respective sell-off on Wednesdays and Fridays between 3 pm and 4 pm.
For DCP-nEHS customers (new special form of EEX/ECC membership for nEHS access only) delivery of certificates takes place on the day after the sell-off on which the money was received (max. after six business days):
- Sell-Off on T (Tuesday or Thursday)
- if payment is received by T+2*, 11 a.m.**: delivery on T+3*
- otherwise one-time extension of the payment deadline until T+5*, 11 a.m.** and delivery on T+6*
- if payment has still not been received by then, the purchase contract will be cancelled***
*In case the above dates fall on a TARGET2 holiday, the deadlines will be postponed accordingly to the following ECC business day.
** The exact times are currently still being coordinated with the competent authority. Changes are therefore still possible.
***The above information may differ for the last sell-off date in December.
Please note, that changes regarding the day of delivery for DCP-nEHS customers are still possible.
French Capacity Guarantees
ECC offers substantial expertise in the physical settlement of French Capacity Guarantees and has been a reliable partner in this market since 2016. The settlement system is connected to the French Registry for Capacity Guarantees in order to ensure an efficient and fast delivery to the customer accounts.
For the physical delivery of capacity guarantees to your customer account in the RTE Registry no Registry Transfer Request (RTR) in ECCs Member Area has to be created. All capacity guarantees sold are transferred by ECC after the auction to the respective buyer account with a delay of 26 hours. However all guarantees unsold are transferred back to the seller account on the day after the auction immediately
European Union Allowances (EUA) as margin credits
- Subject to approval and configuration by the respective Clearing Member, EUAs can be used as margin credits to offset margin requirements for Initial Margin Spot Market (IMSM) and/or Initial Margin Derivatives (SPAN). For Initial Margin Derivatives (SPAN) a margin credit is only calculated for the equivalent credit value of a net short position in EUA Futures. ECC will value the provided EUA’s as margin credits by using the current market value and applying an appropriate haircut to establish the eligible margin credit value.
- In order to use general allowances as collateral
a) a direct transfer from your union registry account to EEC’s union registry collateral account or b) a transfer from your internal custody account is necessary as shown below.
Both approaches and further conditions are described more in detail within the EUA as collateral – Guideline.
- In case of margin related questions on that topic, please find more information at Collateral Emissions (ECC.de)
Delivery Reports provide an overview of all physically settled trades to the members. More detailed reports can be accessed via the ECC Member Area.
Each report contains separate data for
- buy and sell transactions
- traded products
- different market areas
For the purpos e of physical delivery, positions are always netted out.
Power and Natural Gas
- Report for the previous delivery day
- Dispatch between 7.30 and 8.00 a.m. CET and at around 10.00 a.m. CET on weekends
- Report for the next delivery day
- Dispatch around 2 p.m. CET every day