Balancing Mechanism


Since July 2007, all French electricity consumers have benefited from market liberalization and have thus been able to choose their supplier. In France, Balance Responsible Entity system demands that any consumption and generation of electricity be part of a balance perimeter

The operation of the power transmission network involves ensuring electricity generation is balanced with demand in real time.

However, several types of incidents may disrupt this balance (generation unit outage, damaged transmission line, demand imbalance). If they occur, RTE must ask generators and consumers directly connected to the power transmission grid to quickly modify their operating schedule.

The Law of 10 February 2000 (in French only) set out how RTE would create a Balancing Mechanism.

RTE is:

  • therefore able to mobilise reserves to maintain the generation-demand balance in real time;
  • contribute to resolving network congestion,
  • produce a legitimate reference price which can be used for the settlement of imbalances of Balance Responsible Entities.

RTE service and role

RTE therefore needs to know what solutions are available at all times for restoring the supply-demand balance on the transmission network, as well as the technical and economic conditions entailed in implementing them, so as to determine the best solutions fairly.

This is the aim of the "Balancing Mechanism" that RTE set up in April 2003, and which is regularly updated in conjunction with clients (CURTE) and with approval for planned changes from the French Energy Regulator, CRE.)

Through a system where they offer to increase or decrease their output or consumption, the market players communicate the technical and financial conditions on the basis of which RTE can modify their generation, consumption or injection programmes on borders.

RTE makes up for any imbalances by selecting offers, after having ranked them according to economic precedence and by taking into account the technical constraints expressed by the players.

Contracting information

  • You must sign a contract with RTE based on the rules established in consultation with players and approved by CRE

The Rules on Programming, the Balancing Mechanism and the Balance Responsible Entity System comprise three Sections. The rules governing the Balancing Mechanism and Programming are contained in Section 1. This section of the rules is the subject of dispensatory provisions under the distributed load shedding trial.

  • Rules on access to the RTE Information System and applications

More information:

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