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    Electricity consumption in France is 8.2 % lower than usual

    January 18, 2023 - CE Noticias Financieras


      Paris, Jan. 18. Electricity consumption in France has been in the last four weeks 8.2% lower than the average for the period 2014-2019 and taking into account the production capacities, this practically removes the risk of blackouts during the winter, barring exceptional circumstances in February.

      This is the diagnosis of the network manager RTE, which on Wednesday published the most recent data and an update of its forecasts, and specified that in the last week electricity consumption is down 7.5 % compared to the 2014-2019 references.

      "The essential of the risks (of blackouts) are behind us," explained in an interview with France Info radio station RTE President Xavier Piechaczyk, who recalled that this threat was focused on the months of November and December, as well as in early January due to the low availability of the nuclear reactor fleet.

      In his opinion, it is partly "good news" because it shows that the French have applied "the gestures of sobriety" that have been recommended, but at the same time it shows that "some companies have lowered their production" because of the high prices.

      Piechaczyk noted that "there is still a period with some risks around the second half of February in the event of a "significant and long cold snap" and that at the same time more nuclear reactors than expected would require maintenance work.

      At present, the number of these reactors in service (43 out of a total fleet of 56) allows an output that has exceeded 45 gigawatts, in line with what was planned in September.

      France's nuclear reactors usually provided around 70% of the country's electricity, but in recent months up to half of them have been shut down at the same time for maintenance reasons and because of defects detected in some of them, which forced France to import a lot of electricity from neighboring countries such as Germany and Spain during the autumn.

      That also pushed wholesale megawatt-hour prices above the symbolic threshold of 1,000 euros, but they are now at much lower levels "around 100 euros," the RTE president noted.

      This drop in the price of energy has also been contributed to by the fact that gas reserves in France are at particularly high levels for this time of year, namely 80% instead of the 55% that would be normal in mid-January. EFE



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