how France escapes (for the moment) the first tensions on the network

Baptiste Morin, edited by Gauthier Delomez
modified to

07:49, December 12, 2022

In a context of tension on the electricity supply, France has not yet experienced a first alert from Ecowatt, and should escape an orange signal on Monday. How to explain it? Europe 1 takes stock of a combination of factors which allows France not to carry out load shedding.

France on a wire concerning its electricity supply. While experts feared a first orange Ecowatt signal on Monday, it should however remain green. France has therefore not yet experienced a first alert as temperatures drop, and this is due to a combination of factors. Europe 1 takes stock.

A very welcome drop in consumption

First, France massively imports electricity. Last Thursday, at 8:30 a.m., France bought 14.5 gigawatts from its neighbors, mainly from Germany and Belgium. It is almost the maximum of what the French lines allow, and it is an essential contribution. “Very clearly, today, France is no longer autonomous”, points out Emeric de Vigan, vice-president in charge of electricity markets at Kpler. “Without these imports, we would not be able to keep the lights on as we do today,” he explains at the microphone of Europe 1.

Then, France benefits from the drop in consumption. This is around 10% for the month of November according to EDF, and this is unheard of. Finally, France can count more and more on the restarting of nuclear reactors shut down for maintenance or work. As of December 12, 40 reactors out of 56 are available, and by the end of the month, five more must be put back on the network, which is not negligible. This would further push back the threat of load shedding.