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The European network codes are network requirements for a cross-border electricity exchange harmonized on a Europe-wide basis. The goals are to improve the internal market for electricity and establish a functional and transparent wholesale market.

There are requirements on structuring conditions under national law apart from the concrete guidelines that are legally binding in every Member State. VDE FNN takes over this task for Germany on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). VDE FNN describes in the VDE-Applications Rules both the concrete EU specifications and the specifics for the German electric power system. The German rules are distinguished by voltage levels since the requirements for grid connection depend on them. A transfer to VDE-Application Rules creates user-friendly and consistent rules and standards. Users that comply with the Application Rules will also adhere to the European Network Codes.

European Network Codes

Connection Codes

Operation CodesMarket Codes
Network Code on Emergency and Restoration (NC ER)Rules on Operational Planning and Scheduling (OPS)
System Operation Guideline (SO Guideline)Operational Security (OS)
Load Frequency Control and Reserve (LFCR)


Energy Transition and European Single Market Challenge

EU regulations and overall guidelines specify close intervals to prepare European Network Codes and require strong commitment and fast positioning from all stakeholders involved. VDE FNN as the national standardization body works towards ensuring that the European requirements harmonize well with the German regulations and will support further integration of renewable energy.

VDE FNN accompanies the European activities and implements the European regulations in Germany. The challenge is to specify the goals of the energy transition and of cross-border electricity trade as rules involving all expert groups. The rules need to pass through a notification procedure at the EU commission upon completion by VDE FNN.

The European Network Codes must be implemented nationally within three years of publication.

FNN principles governing implementation

  • We announce the creation of Application Rules and make the procedure transparent.
  • We publish drafts, discuss the incoming proposed modifications and inform the objectors about the result.
  • We make controversial topics (hotspots) and overarching specifications transparent in good time.
  • We involve interest groups to reflect and involve a wide range of opinions
  • Our procedure is proven, tested and transparent. It follows the principles of developing VDE-Application Rules in the FNN (VDE-AR-N 100).

Overarching themes

The challenges of expanding renewable energies, particularly in the underlying grids, need to be tackled jointly by all stakeholders of all network levels. For this reason, some topics will need to be addressed and regulated across voltage levels, for example:

  • Classification in performance categories
  • Notification of the VDE code of practice through the EU Commission
  • Static voltage stability
  • Dynamic network support
  • Black start capacity
  • Active power supply for over or under frequency
  • Balancing energy
  • Verification procedures

The rules need to pass through a notification procedure at the EU commission upon completion by VDE|FNN.