“We are facing an exceptional situation in France and in Europe”, recognized the president of RTE, Xavier Piechaczyk, presenting his winter outlook for the electricity network.
According to the manager, a “risk of cuts cannot be totally excluded”, but “it could be avoided by lowering national consumption by 1 to 5% in the majority of cases, and up to 15% in the worst weather situations. more extreme”.
“In no case does France run a risk of blackout”, that is to say “the total loss of control of the electrical system”, wanted to reassure RTE, while France is affected like the rest of Europe by an energy crisis not seen for decades.
But faced with a “degraded” situation in France for the production of electricity, the manager of the electricity network has exceptionally advanced the period of “vigilance” which will begin in the fall and will relate in particular to November and December.
To carry out these advance forecasts, RTE has established three energy security scenarios (“intermediate”, “high”, “degraded”), depending on the vagaries of the weather and a lot of uncertainties relating to France’s nuclear capacities and the gas crisis.
In “the vast majority of situations”, RTE only considers “a few red Ecowatt signals over the 6 months of winter”. Created in 2020, this device, also nicknamed “electricity weather forecast”, allows users, individuals, businesses and communities, to be alerted in the event of tensions on the electricity network and to adapt their consumption by “eco-gestures”. .
Concretely, it is a question of reducing or postponing the consumption of heating, lighting or cooking, in particular during peak consumption, in the morning between 8 am and 1 pm and in the evening between 6 pm and 8 pm.
– What price increase? –
In the context of the energy crisis affecting Europe against a background of the drying up of Russian gas, the situation in France is indeed weakened due to nuclear electricity production at its lowest, linked to works or problems of corrosion on half of its 56 nuclear reactors. And France can hardly count on reduced hydraulic production due to the drought.
This “high level of risk” on electricity production cannot, however, “justify” the soaring energy prices on the futures markets, believes RTE, denouncing “a risk premium” very expensive for France.
For its part, the gas transmission network operator GRTGaz presented in turn at the beginning of the afternoon on Wednesday its winter scenario for gas supply.
“France must save “now” for the case of a very cold winter, advocated GRTGaz, also announcing that gas exports will begin from “mid-October” from France to Germany.
Faced with soaring electricity and gas costs on the markets, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, surrounded by the Ministers of the Economy Bruno Le Maire and of the Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher must announce at 3:30 p.m. the new contours of the tariff shield for 2023.
In 2022, the increase in electricity prices for individuals had been blocked by the government at 4%, and gas prices frozen at the level of October 2021.
The government, which is preparing its draft budget for 2023, has promised that the rise in gas and electricity prices will remain “contained” for consumers after the expiry of this shield on December 31, 2022. The question is whether what will be the tariff increase applied, and the level of protection granted to the French.
According to Bercy contacted by AFP, “some will be helped to pay the increases”, which should be announced during the day.
“If there was no tariff shield, it would be 180 euros more at the start of the school year on the gas bill for the French and 120 euros on the electricity bill”, indicated the Minister of the Economy Bruno The Mayor Wednesday morning on Cnews.