Who are our customers?
In the context of the energy transition, new uses and accelerated decarbonisation of industry, RTE plays a key role in providing a framework and capabilities for grid connection of renewable energies and industrial consumers, with processes requiring increasing electrification directly connected to the grid or via distribution system operators.
Our customers are faced with multiple issues and there are multiple consequences of this evolution of the external context for RTE. We must adapt quickly to support our customers in their energy transition and anticipate the necessary changes in the grid and to markets. As a public service, our mission is to provide a tailored service while ensuring fair treatment for all our customers.
Nuclear power plants, conventional fossil-fuelled plants (combined-cycle gas power plants, gas turbines) and most of the hydropower are the main source of electricity generation connected to the transmission grid. This legacy fleet is supplemented by more than eighty wind farms (including 2 offshore) and 90 photovoltaic power plants.
In terms of size, Enedis is still RTE’s biggest customer in France. The other distributors are local distribution companies. Of these, 28 are directly connected to the transmission system and about 100 are supplied by Enedis. However, the latter are also our customers through their participation in market mechanisms.
It is important to note that not all electricity consumers in France are directly connected to the high and very high voltage grid. In fact, only industries with significant electricity needs and railways are connected to it. Private individuals and small businesses are connected to a lower-voltage distribution system, which is then connected to the transmission system.
Directly connected to our transmission system across the country, these are France’s biggest industrial sites comprising almost all of the traditional energy-intensive consumers (steel, non-ferrous metals, large-scale chemistry plants, paper, automotive, railways, etc.). SNCF Réseau is the biggest consumer currently connected to the transmission system (7 TWh per year).
Market players are traders or balancing service providers (electricity suppliers, industrial consumers directly connected to our grid, demand response aggregators, traders or banks, foreign TSOs for participation through interconnections, distributors, etc.).
They form a recent, diverse and evolving group of players. They are directly or indirectly involved in market mechanisms established by RTE since the opening-up of markets, in conjunction with all stakeholders: balance responsible party system, balancing mechanism, capacity mechanism, ancillary services, demand response compensation mechanism (NEBEF, demand response calls for tender), manual frequency restoration and replacement reserves, etc.
The associated volume is not an aggregate sum as most of these players are involved in a number of mechanisms.
Our customers are evolving
The energy transition is bringing about the emergence of new players and new uses in the electrical landscape:
- new types of consumers (data centres, hydrogen electrolysers, etc.)
- new flexibility solutions with the arrival of storage
- a significant increase in renewable energy generation
- and the transformation of our long-term customers’ industrial processes as part of their decarbonisation