Will we have enough electricity in January?
While EDF is still struggling to quickly restart its nuclear power plants, the tricolor electricity network manager, RTE, presented this Tuesday morning the update of its outlook for winter 2022-2023.
Its analyzes are scrutinized closely, as the concerns around the supply of the system and the tensions on the supply for the cold weeks to come remain acute.
But the group is slightly less worried than expected.
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According to RTE, the sobriety efforts observed week after week are paying off: France "
approaches the heart of winter in a more favorable situation than at the beginning of autumn, and better prepared to deal with situations of tension
", notes company in its report.
", the drop in consumption, which affects companies, public players, industrialists, households and businesses, denotes significant awareness among players, symbolized by the 2.5 million downloads of the Ecowatt application.
In addition, the proper functioning of European interconnections, allowing France to import electricity, supports the network.
the production potential has been strengthened
thanks to the acceleration of the restart of nuclear reactors – of which two-thirds are now available – and the good state of hydraulic stocks.
worst case scenarios in terms of nuclear production
" are therefore ruled out.
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These various elements allow RTE to “
reduce the risk of emission of the red Ecowatt signal compared to the central vision
” of mid-September.
In December, as during the holidays – a period traditionally when consumption drops – the risk of an Ecowatt signal being transmitted is now considered “
Then, in January, it is "
lowered from 'high' to 'medium'
An encouraging result, of course, but which does not yet rule out the danger for the start of the year.
In addition, it remains dependent on the efforts of the French in terms of sobriety, and the sacrifices of industrialists, made because of the soaring energy prices.
While he does not say he is worried about the gas supply either, RTE projects a few months ahead, and stresses that "
the second part of the winter, and especially the winter of 2023-2024, are, on the other hand, under surveillance
A call for vigilance that should not go unnoticed.
The “discarded” worst-case scenario
In his latest forecasts, in November, the manager painted a mixed picture.
On the battery side, RTE was reassuring about the month of December, which, so far, has not seen any red Ecowatt signal, indicating that major sobriety efforts are essential to avoid having to face temporary and organized cuts. .
On the face side, the company sounded the alarm for January, while the restart of nuclear power plants was once again falling behind schedule: "
The anticipated reductions in consumption, particularly in the industrial sector, are not likely to offset the foreseeable reduction of nuclear production
", he indicated in particular in his report.
And to emphasize that, at the beginning of 2023, the Ecowatt signals will depend “
largely from climatic conditions and the possible occurrence of even a moderate cold snap
What worries the authorities.
However, in recent days, the actors have been rather reassuring.
We have ruled out the worst-case scenario
", even declared in mid-December the director of strategy of RTE, Thomas Veyrenc, before the senators.
The sobriety efforts of French households and economic players, the restarting of power stations, the good condition of the hydraulic system and the efficient European interconnections have already enabled France to get through the month of December.
If these elements are maintained in January, the risk of cuts should be considerably reduced, if not ruled out.