Balancing supply and demand
RTE keeping its eye on the grid
RTE possesses a battery of tried and tested tools to monitor the transmission system and maintain a balance in real time.
Using this combination of data and actions, RTE is always able to choose the most cost-effective and efficient solution for transporting electricity.
Have you heard about interruptibility?
RTE possesses a number of mechanisms which it uses to control the balance between supply and demand, in other words between available output and usage.
RTE predicts its requirements and risks, both now and 10 years into the future
RTE’s ability to balance supply and demand in real time largely relies on its ability to forecast changes in power consumption over several years, up until the day ahead and down to the very second.
In order to establish these forecasts, RTE uses annual consumption records as well as information provided by parties like Météo France, because weather significantly affects power consumption.
200 design engineers and forecasters scrutinise all this data by comparing it with short-term, medium-term and long-term generation capacities. Forecasts are constantly updated up until the day ahead. They provide RTE with real-time margins so that measures can be taken to balance the system.
Real-time consumption data
RTE can provide its customers with a tool called éCO2mix, enabling them to view live-time data about France’s power system: forecasts made the previous day and on the same day; differences compared with real-time consumption.
Another of RTE’s roles and skillsets is its ability to forecast electrical risks and required grid adjustments over the long term. The company performs assessments and projected supply estimates that it shares with other power system stakeholders and with public authorities that make energy policy. Goal: offering solutions that maintain a sustainable balance between supply, control and sound grid operation.
Anticiper les évolutions à long terme
A moyen terme, la transition énergétique va bouleverser la manière de produire et de consommer l’électricité. C’est la mission de RTE d’évaluer et d’anticiper l’impact de ces changements structurels et d’éclairer les pouvoirs publics. Un seul objectif : proposer des solutions qui garantissent l’équilibre durable entre l’offre et la demande, le pilotage et le bon fonctionnement du réseau.
RTE practises electrical solidarity at all levels
In order to be able to supply energy at the most affordable prices, RTE controls nation-wide power flows, as well as importing and exporting electricity from and to France’s neighbouring countries. Interconnections enable RTE to establish Europe-wide market mechanisms. The interdependence of generation capacities and lifestyles helps to foster electrical solidarity across Europe. The same solidarity applies at a nation-wide level, between regions that generate more power than they use and vice-versa.
Maintaining solidarity across Europe’s electricity market
European countries depend on each other for electrical power. On a daily basis, electricity is imported and exported across our borders through 50 cross-border connections. RTE coordinates this whole system along with its fellow transmission system operators, whilst providing all those involved in France’s power system (generating utilities, suppliers, distributors and traders) with access to these international exchanges.
In France, if a temporary imbalance were to appear between power supply and demand, the national system operating centre (CNES) could use cross-border connections to rectify such an imbalance. These re-balancing exchanges take precedence over commercial transactions, thereby avoiding any potential power cuts in France, even in extreme cases.
Daily international exchanges
RTE maintains a constant flow of power so that all those involved in the power system can have access to these international exchanges. This is how power is imported and exported across our borders on a daily basis. RTE also ensures that the commercial agreements established between market players do not conflict with France’s security of supply.
Our national system operating centre acts as a power dispatch centre: if a temporary imbalance were to appear between power supply and demand, it could use our 50 cross-border connections to rectify such an imbalance. This is a concrete example of Europe’s electrical interdependence. These re-balancing exchanges take precedence over commercial transactions, thereby avoiding any potential power cuts in France, even in extreme cases.