Friday, January 21

Electricity supply: RTE is stepping up its vigilance, but the weather is favorable at this stage

The supply of electricity to France is the subject of a heightened level of vigilance for January, due in particular to the availability of the nuclear fleet expected to be at its lowest, but it bLOIC VENANCE

The supply of electricity to France is the subject of a heightened level of vigilance for January, due in particular to the availability of the nuclear fleet expected to be at its lowest, but it benefits at least for the time being from weather forecasts. favorable, said the network manager on Thursday.

On the basis of the latest forecasts, the occurrence of severe and lasting cold episodes, sources of consumption peaks, “appears very unlikely” over the first fortnight, and for the following period “unlikely” (with, however, a degree of higher uncertainty), RTE note in an updated analysis note on the supply-demand balance.

However, the manager is raising his level of vigilance and is planning a series of measures, due to the strong tensions observed in both Europe and France.

The country is suffering in particular from a reduced availability of its nuclear fleet, linked to a busy maintenance schedule, further disrupted by the confinements of 2020. EDF also had to shut down two reactors in Chooz (Ardennes) in mid-December, “as a precaution. “, and extend the Civaux (Vienne) shutdown, after the detection of faults on safety circuits.

RTE thus assesses the forecast availability of the nuclear fleet at between 43 and 51 gigawatts for most of January, ie “the lowest level ever reached for the nuclear fleet at this time of the year”. The year should start with 12 reactors shut down (out of 56), before improving during the month.

As for the consumption of both businesses and households, the rise in prices has not led to a marked decrease in demand.

In this tense context, it therefore plans several measures in the event of cold (around 4 ° C below normal) or very low wind power production in Europe: interruption of large industrial consumers, drop in voltage on networks.

“As a last resort”, in the event of unusual cold over several days coupled with an absence of wind, or further degradation of capacities, particularly nuclear, RTE could also “potentially resort to targeted cuts of consumers”, he warns.

“Momentary cuts, which are in no way a blackout, but operations that we control, implemented with distributors and State administrations”, underlines Jean-Paul Roubin, RTE’s director of operations, referring to an extremely rare measure, the last example of which dates back to the 1990s in a context of social movement.

Reference-www.rtl.be

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