February 3, 2023

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France Prepares Measures to Avoid Power Shortfall This Winter

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(Bloomberg) — France’s government and power-grid operator are preparing measures to guarantee stable electricity supplies this winter as multiple reactor shutdowns raise the risk of shortages.

Nuclear giant Electricite de France SA, which usually exports cheap power during the winter, may be forced to import this year after cutting its output forecast for a third time. The country is now taking steps to ensure the lights stay on in the event of a severe cold snap, according to the energy regulator.

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“We will act on renewable energies, on supplies for gas-fired power plants and on energy savings,” Jean-Francois Carenco, chairman of the Commission de Regulation de l’Energie, said at a press briefing in Paris on Wednesday. A draft bill is expected over the summer to “accelerate proceedings,” he said.

About half of EDF’s 56 reactors are currently halted, and the utility has estimated that output this year will be the lowest in more than three decades — in part as a result of checks and repairs after corrosion issues were discovered at units late last year.

Read more: Europe’s Biggest Exporter of Power Might Need Imports in Winter

French power prices for next winter are trading at a wide premium to those in neighboring Germany, reflecting fears that the country could struggle to meet demand if consumption spikes. The persistent risk of gas-supply disruption from Russia has only served to increase that concern. 

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Read more: EDF Nuclear Failures Undermine Europe’s Push to Exit Russian Gas

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Bloomberg News

2022-06-01 09:52:13

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