German grid agency fines traders for electricity market manipulation
Clean Energy Wire
The German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has imposed fines of 200,000 euros on Energi Danmark and 175,000 euros on Optimax Energy for market manipulation in the wholesale electricity market. In June 2019, the two traders were selling electricity on the energy exchange EPEX Spot although the electricity offered was not available and there was no intention to procure or generate it, the BNetzA said in a press release. As a result, significant imbalances occurred in the German electricity grid on three days in June 2019, requiring transmission grid operators to deploy balancing energy for extended periods of time and implement other measures to keep the system stable – which they succeeded in doing. "Dangerous under-coverage of balancing groups must not be allowed to pay off. Anyone who pockets profits at the expense of system stability is acting unlawfully," says BNetzA vice president Peter Franke. After an extensive analysis of the trading data, the BNetzA found eight counts of manipulative trading behaviour by Energi Danmark and seven counts by Optimax Energy.
The fines are not yet legally binding. The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court will decide on possible appeals.