Mechanism of capacity


Presentation of the mechanism


French law 2010-1488 of 7 December 2010 reforming the electricity market (NOME), codified in articles L. 335-1 et seq. of the Energy Code, establishes a capacity obligation scheme. It specifies that "each supplier contributes, in accordance with the demand characteristics of its customers, in terms of power and energy, to the security of electricity supply in continental France".

Decree 2012-1405 of 14 December 2012 defines the general organizational framework of the new scheme.

An obligation based on the suppliers. Obligation will be assigned to suppliers based on the actual consumption of their customers during peak periods (usually in winter). To meet its obligation, the supplier will have to secure capacity guarantees either by relying on their own means (production plant or demand response capacity), or by acquiring them from other guarantees holders. Individual obligations, level  based on parameters established four years before the target delivery, will be calculated to reflect the effective consumption data measured during the delivery period within the supplier’s portfolio.

The certification process assigns the amount of certificates requested by each capacity operator including producers or Demand response management operators.

The settlement of capacity imbalances shall provide an incentive to achieve higher availability. After winter, the scheduled availability declared during the certification process will be compared to that actually observed during peak periods. A financial settlement will be calculated for the resulting differences.


The provisions in the Rules frame this market mechanism regulated by the public authorities. On the capacity market, guarantees holders and obliged players exchange capacity guarantees. The guarantees are used to meet the legal obligation of the players obliged the mechanism.

The capacity mechanism falls within an insurance logic: capacity operators (producers or demand response operators) value their capacities depending on their potential to improve the security of supply. Starting four years ahead of the delivery period, the mechanism generates economic signals complementing those of the energy market. The capacity mechanism secures investments.

The rules specify the certification parameters, the suppliers’ obligation, thef trading of certificates as well as the associated transparency mechanisms.

Several registers contain all the information associated with the mechanism.

Further informations

French laws available:

Rules and additional provisions
(to be translated)
Cfilière and CAL
coefficients report
720 Ko
637 Ko
Report accompanying the draft rules
Impact assessment of the capacity market
executive summary
3.58 Mo
1.24 Mo

Practice documentation

Practice Handbook

This practice guide outlines the operational details for each type of actors involved in the mechanism. For each step, it explains the principles, the necessary steps and deadlines.

French Capacity Mechanism - General presentation
3,26 Mo
2,69 Mo

Contracting procedures

The following contracts are presented for information purpose. Special arrangements apply regarding signature. To become acquainted, please refer to your usual customer relationship manager or contacts below.

  • The certification contract is the subject of an online signature on your Private Customer Area
  • The contract for access to the register of guarantees is also integrated in the certification contract.

Access to the information system

To perform a certification request, you need to contact the system operator to which the capacity is connected (DSO or TSO).

The actors connected with RTE (the capacity operators, mandatory agents, suppliers, Certification portfolio managers (RPC) and DSOs) must connect to the Private Customer Area. To access it, you must:

For more information (in french only) :

Estimate capacity obligation using the calculator developed by RTE

To help obligated parties and consumers better grasp the mechanism of capacity principles, RTE has developed a tool to estimate the level of obligation of the profiled sites and remotely-metered sites (thermosensitive and non-thermosensitive). The parties enter the data via a form or by importing a file. The calculation method is based on the historical data and not the forecast. There are two full years of historical data: 2015 and 2016.

This calculator is available in open access via the URL The result of the obligation estimation using this tool in no way predicts the calculation of the obligation which will be used in the imbalance settlement of the obligated parties.

Access to registers and datas

Register of capacity guarantees

This register contains informations regarding market activities.

Register of certified capacities

This register contains information about delivered certificates

Register of measures to control their consumption during peak periods

This register contains information regarding energy management actions initiated by suppliers.


Data related to the mechanism (Parameters, forecasts, transparency issues)


For operationnals or technical aspects regarding the mechanism, please contact the dedicated team :For operationnals or technical aspects regarding the mechanism, please contact the dedicated team:

One page explanations

Please refer to the catalog of services for a first approach of the mechanism (to be translated):