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The balancing mechanism allows RTE to modulate generation, consumption and exchanges to ensure that electricity supply and demand are always balanced. The mechanism involves the selection of bids submitted by balancing service providers based on the merit order and identified needs.

Increase in cross-border balancing


Cross-border balancing volumes rose during the year and accounted for 42% of total upward balancing and 21% of downward balancing. The increase in upward balancing volumes was driven primarily by TSO-Actor exchanges (from Switzerland and Germany), whereas the BALIT share (mainly Spain) fell to 4.9% from 6.4% in 2017.
Total balancing volumes reached 8.39 TWh, which was just under 2% of gross consumption in France.

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Tight situations on the balancing mechanism


The number of instances where supply was tight on the balancing mechanism increased in 2018 to a total of 68 half-days. Whereas in 2017 a third of all situations where supply was tight occurred in January, last year the distribution was more even: February, March, June, July, August, October and November all counted at least five half-days when supply was short.

The factors that can cause such imbalances include social movements at generation plants, environmental constraints (reduced output at nuclear plants during summer heatwaves) and cold spells.

Note: A supply-demand imbalance situation is considered to exist when RTE generates one or more messages about insufficient offers on the balancing mechanism (alerts or degraded modes) to encourage participants to submit additional offers.

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