Guideline on Electricity Balancing

The European Guideline on Electricity Balancing was voted on 16 March 2017 by the countries of the European Union. It will re-examine the current national model managing the supply-demand balance and bring about the establishment of a balancing market on the European level.

Creating an internal market for electricity is a strong policy ambition for the EU. Its aim is to facilitate trade in electricity between Member States to benefit from the most competitive resources in Europe at any given time. It is based on several guidelines determining a set of common rules.

Among these guidelines, the Guideline on Electricity Balancing defines the main axes of the transition to a supply-demand balance market which is fully integrated on the European level. On the one hand, it encourages each market stakeholder to present a balanced perimeter in real time. On the other hand, it gives transmission system operators (TSOs) the means, through competitive bidding of European flexibilities, to manage potential residual national imbalance at the best cost.

The Electricity Balancing guideline establishes the technical, operational and commercial rules relating to the acquisition of balancing capacity, activation of balancing energy and their financial settlement. Competitive balancing energy bidding on common platforms for the exchange of balancing energy on the scale of the EU will have positive effects on competition.

Since early 2017, RTE has been a member of the FCR cooperation, a European initiative relating to balancing markets: contracting of the primary reserve (frequency containment reserve). Other initiatives are being deployed, such as the implementation of a platform for activation of balancing energy that can be activated in under 30 minutes, the TERRE project, in under 15 minutes, the MARI project, or of secondary reserve (automatic frequency restoration reserve) with the PICASSO project.

Following the signing of the Guideline on Electricity Balancing, European transmission system operators will need to begin implementing the rules on the national level, in consultation with national and supranational regulatory authorities and market stakeholders. This step will be decisive, in so far as this regulation will imply developments in our national model, as much for RTE as for the market stakeholders.


To prepare for the transfers of balancing related to the European Guideline on Electricity Balancing, RTE has begun to assess the existing situation, presenting the issues and putting forward initial avenues for change. These proposals are presented in a green paper entitled French electricity system balancing roadmap. They will be updated in the near future in a white paper, after taking into account recommendations from the CRE and additional quantitative analyses .

(1) Acrobat Reader is required if you wish to consult the documents.
You can download this reading tool at the following address :

Télécharger Acrobat Reader