The risks of power cuts are now ‘behind’, according to French power grid administrator RTE, but all is not back to normal as strikes and a sharp drop in temperatures could have a lasting impact on power output. electricity.

RTE published its latest report on the state of electricity production in France on Wednesday, emphasizing that the risks of severe power cuts have now been reduced. This is mainly due to a mild winter so far and increased nuclear power production following months of maintenance at various nuclear plants.

As such, nuclear capacity is up to 70%, in line with RTE’s long-term projections, RTE chief Thomas Veyrenc said at a news conference on Wednesday. A “very satisfying” situation to be in, he said.

Electricity consumption has also been falling significantly since November. It has decreased by 8.5% in the last four weeks, compared to the same period in the period 2014-2019, mainly due to differences in weather conditions. Gas consumption has also fallen 13% since the summer, and “it is now highly unlikely that there will be a gas deficit” for this winter, Veyrenc added.

However, this is not the end of all concerns, Veyrenc emphasized. The severe drop in temperatures France has experienced in the past week, coupled with continued maintenance on nuclear plants and risks of strikes, call for caution.

As for the strikes against the pension reform, which begin on Thursday, they will have no effect on electricity consumption but could delay maintenance schedules, RTE warned.

(Paul Messad |