The production of electricity in summer in France promises to be abundant


PARIS (Reuters) – France will not fail of electricity this summer and could even, in extreme cases, having to stop the means of production during the troughs of consumption linked to the holiday, according to forecasts of the manager of the high-voltage power lines French TEN to be published on Friday.

In the case of temperatures consistent with normal seasonal patterns, the consumption of electricity in France is expected to be stable compared to the summer of 2017 – with a possible peak of 55,000 megawatts (MW) in June and July – while the means of production in the country to exceed this level to a height of 20,000 MW on average, according to RTE.

In the event of a heat wave, that is to say, with temperatures of 7 to 8°C to normal, the use of air conditioners and fans could result in an increase of consumption, the possible points would then be 60,000 MW, but the means of production would remain higher (7000 MW approx.).

RTE, an independent subsidiary of EDF (PA:EDF), pointed out that France will in particular benefit from a better availability of its fleet of nuclear production during the summer of 2017 (of 2,000 to 4,000 MW), and the increase of its capacity wind (+1,700 MW) and solar (+900 MW).

Because of these capabilities are far superior to the needs, the producers and the RTE may be required to stop plants during the troughs of consumption and production peaks of renewable energies, in particular if the supply of the neighbouring countries is also in surplus, in order to ensure the balance between supply and demand.

“We are on the same types of hollow consumption (in 2017) with an availability of higher production, so we can somewhere think that there will be some weekends (…) where the nuclear reactors will be stopped on Friday night and restart on Monday morning,” said the chief operating officer of TEN, Jean-Paul Roubin, during a conference call.

“Should have margins to decline sufficient and find themselves in situations where, at the extreme, France for certain export of the order of 7,000 MW to the stranger in the hollow of consumption”, he however added. “All the simulations that we carried out (…) show that it should be resolved.”

(Benjamin Mallet, edited by Benoit Van Overstraeten)

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