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The flow-based coupling method

Flow-based coupling within the CWE region went live on 21 May 2015.

Previously, these four bidding zones were coupled on a Net Transfer Capacities (NTC) basis, meaning that limitations on exchanges were set bilaterally for each border (one constraint per border and per direction, implicitly taking into account the network situation).

Constraints now explicitly take into account the physical network infrastructure in the five countries. Cross-border exchanges are thus optimised to reflect the actual physical capacities of networks as accurately as possible. This requires very close coordination between the transmission system operators in CWE countries.

In sum, it is no longer possible to consider borders separately, and indicators previously used for the France-Belgium and France-Germany borders have been replaced by France-CWE region indicators.

France becomes again a net exporter to CWE


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After being a net importer for two years in a row, the trend reversed in 2018, with France exporting a net 6.1 TWh. This notably reflected greater availability of the French nuclear fleet, good hydropower generation in the country and numerous instances of unavailabilities of Belgian nuclear power plants late in the year. Exports were particularly robust in May and June, when they hit record highs of 2.64 TWh and 2.56 TWh. On the other hand, France was a net importer during the winter months, as temperature-sensitivity drove its electricity needs up.

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