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+ Consult the comprehensive information on market mechanisms and access a list of dates for the next planned provisions.


On the power system, power generated must be maintained in constant equilibrium with power consumed.
As the French Transmission System Operator, RTE designs and implements market mechanisms to balance supply and demand in real time, and to ensure long-term adaptation of generation capacities to needs.

This page:

  • offers an introduction to the market mechanisms developed by RTE;
  • provides a summary of the dates of the next provisions in the market rules (referred to as "provisions with delayed entry into force" in the market rules).  

Each mechanism operated by RTE is described in detail on a dedicated page accessible from the link given on this page or under "See our solutions to access the grid or electricity markets - Cataliz // Access the electricity market" with a landing page and access to each mechanism. 



  • Market participants
  • Market participants with power generation, consumption or storage facilities

What are the various market mechanisms and what is their purpose? 

The Balance Responsible Party system

The goal of this scheme is to manage power system imbalances ahead of RTE’s operational window for balancing the power system.

To perform an activity on the French electricity market (generate, consume, sell, purchase, import, export…), it is required to designate a balance responsible party or to become a balance responsible party.

This means that consumers and generators who have a transmission system access contract (CART) or a distribution system access contract (CARD) or a metering data service contract with RTE are obliged to appoint their balance responsible party. This balance responsible party may be their supplier or another participant (which may be the consumer or the generator) who has acquired the status of balance responsible party with RTE.

Up to the start of RTE’s operational window for balancing the power system, balance responsible parties must ensure adequacy between generation and consumption within their balance perimeter. Imbalances between generations and consumptions detected subsequently on their perimeter are invoiced to them.
RTE is responsible for the physical balance of the grid in real time.  In the event of an overall imbalance between all the balance responsible entities, RTE counteracts this by calling on upward and downward dispatchable power reserves. 
Balancing costs are borne by balance responsible parties in imbalance.
For each imbalance settlement period, the balance responsible party is a market player who financially bears the proportional cost of balancing the French electricity system due to imbalances between electricity generations and consumptions of its balance perimeter. 

Find out more :
Becoming a balance responsible party - RTE Services Portal (

Frequency ancillary services, manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves and the balancing mechanism

The amount of power being generated must be equal at all times to the power being consumed on the French power system. RTE maintains this balance in real time while taking account of unforeseen generation/consumption issues (weather, availability of generation capacity, etc.), as well as changes in import and export at the borders.

The Generation (offer) = Consumption (demand) balance is expressed by the frequency level at European level (at equilibrium, the frequency is 50Hz).

To maintain the balance between supply and demand, RTE requires dispatchable power reserves at all times, both upward and downward, from capacities based in France or the rest of Europe. 

RTE contracts 2 types of reserves (capacity reservation from market participants):

  • frequency ancillary services (frequency containment reserve and frequency restoration reserve), and
  • manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves (contracting of tertiary reserves).

In addition to these contracted capacities, RTE uses open bids submitted by market participants on the balancing mechanism. The balancing mechanism allows RTE to dispatch tertiary reserves to ensure the generation-consumption balance in real time, to contribute towards managing network congestion, and to reconstitute reserves and frequency ancillary services.
Balancing bids meeting the need identified by RTE are dispatched and activated by RTE according to price and system constraints.

Unlike frequency containment reserves and automatic frequency restoration reserves, which are activated automatically, manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves are made available to RTE by market participants through bids submitted on the balancing mechanism and are manually activated by RTE. 

All energy bids submitted to the balancing mechanism (energy bids from manual frequency restoration and replacement reserve, and open bids) constitute the tertiary reserve.

Generation facilities connected to the public transmission system have an obligation to offer their available power on the balancing market. 

Bids must be sent by D-1 before the system access deadline (i.e.: D-1 at 4:30PM). They can be updated throughout day D at each intraday gate closure.

Find out more :

Scheduling system 

The scheduling system involves transmitting to RTE, each day for the next day, a forecast dispatch schedule containing:

  • the forecast generation schedule and the associated technical constraints;
  • the frequency ancillary services scheduling (frequency containment reserve and automatic frequency restoration reserve)

on the scale of a scheduling entity for one day D. 
These data must be sent by D-1 before the system access deadline (i.e.: D-1 at 4:30PM). They can be updated throughout day D at each intraday gate closure.
The scheduling system, in combination with the bids submitted on the balancing mechanism, allows RTE to be informed of the margins that will be available the following day, as well as to better anticipate constraints on the public transmission system.

Find out more :
Scheduling your active powers - RTE Services Portal (

Import-export rules 

France is interconnected with:

  • Great Britain,
  • Belgium (IFB),
  • Germany (IFD),
  • Italy (IFI),
  • Spain (IFE)
  • and Switzerland (IFS).

These interconnections:

  • compensate for sudden loss of load of generation or electricity transmission equipment by calling on generators, consumers and transmission operators of neighbouring countries,
  • enable electricity suppliers to sell energy to a customer located in another European Union country, by acquiring capacity at interconnections.

The trade capacities of interconnections are calculated to take into account the physical capacities of transmission systems. 
The trade capacities are allocated to market participants over long-term, day-ahead and intraday time intervals.  To exchange energy at interconnections, you must acquire capacity over a given time period and border direction. 
The allocation methods differ depending on the borders and time horizons:

  • Implicit allocation : at the day-ahead time horizon (D-1), you automatically acquire capacity when you purchase/sell energy on the active power exchanges on the French market (EPEX and NordPool) through single day-ahead coupling (SDAC). At the intraday time horizon (ID), the allocation is also implicit, but without coupling for the moment: This is a continuous market.
  • Explicit allocation : you acquire capacity via auctions then declare your power exchange schedule to the relevant transmission system operators (cross-border nomination). Explicit auctions are organised by the Joint Allocation Office JAO. To date, all continuous explicit intraday capacity allocation on the France-Switzerland border is carried out on the ICS platform. It is also possible to explicitly allocate intraday capacity for the France-Germany border on the XBID platform.

Find out more
Access to French interconnections - RTE Services Portal (

NEBEF demand response mechanism

 This scheme benefits consumers by allowing them to participate on the electricity markets (ahead of RTE’s operational window for balancing the power system) with their demand response capacity in the same way as generation capacity and this without the need to inform their supplier or ask their consent.
A consumer can participate:

  • directly by becoming a “demand response aggregator”, if it has a minimum demand response capacity of 100 kW.
  • or indirectly, calling on a third-party aggregator. The consumer then receives payment according to the terms of the contract with the demand response aggregator.

Find out more :
Participate in the NEBEF mechanism - RTE Services Portal (

The capacity mechanism

The capacity mechanism is intended to safeguard the security of electricity supply in France during peak winter periods. It is based on the obligation for obligated parties to cover peak-hour consumption and on the certification and settlement of generation and demand response capacities.

Obligated parties are the suppliers, as well as end consumers and system operators for their losses, which, for all or part of their consumption, are not supplied by a provider.

All generation capacities (including battery storage) that comply with the CO2 emission limits in accordance with Article L.335-3 of the French Energy Code are obliged to participate in the capacity market by becoming certified with RTE. RTE issues them with capacity guarantees matching the amount of generation capacity they commit to being available during peak winter periods. It is not an obligation for demand response capacities to participate in the capacity mechanism but they must respect CO2 emission limits to be remunerated under this capacity mechanism.

Each obligated party is required to have a certain amount of capacity guarantees depending on the electricity consumption of its customer portfolio or its own consumption. These guarantees certified by RTE can be acquired over-the-counter from generation or demand response capacity operators or at EPEX auctions.

Find out more :
Participate in the capacity mechanism - RTE Services Portal (

Provisions in market rules with delayed entry into force

Practical or regulatory developments are provided for in the market rules and materialised by key dates.
Below you will find a list of these key dates with, depending on the case :

  • their forcast date 
  • their date of entry into force when this has been notified to the stakeholders in accordance with the market rules.