Winter promises to be tense on the Energy front. With the reduction in gas supply and the shutdown of several nuclear reactors, RTE is considering several electricity consumption scenarios. If the winter is cold, the network will be strained and temporary cuts may be made.
A tense winter? This is what the government fears as the coldest months of the year approach. The extent of the drop in temperatures will directly dictate the measures taken by RTE to maintain the electricity grid in France.
Thomas Veyrenc, Executive Director of RTE was the guest of BFM Business September 15th. A precise update on the causes and consequences of the energy crisis was given. The representative of the network manager, however, wants to reassure France will not suffer a blackout, a massive power cut.
Thomas Veyrenc took the opportunity to discuss the direct causes of the crisis we are experiencing. “First of all there is the gas crisis, a European crisis that predates the invasion of Ukraine. (…) It is important because many European countries produce electricity from gas “, he explains first.
Next, the major problem of the “nuclear production crisis.” “Today, the fleet is operating at half power. It is normal for there to be reactors shut down, from summer to autumn, it is unusual for there to be so many ( …) And that is a particularly French crisis”, explains the manager. And finally the drought, “with multiple repercussions, including on the production of hydraulic electricity, our second source of electricity production.”
Several levels of alerts
In its management of the energy crisis, the manager of the French electricity network foresees several scenarios. There are three alert levels depending on the electrical demand. This is the Ecowatt system. If consumption is normal, no measures are considered. At level 2, the “electrical system” is “tense”. In this case, “eco-gestures are welcome”, recalls the site www.monecowatt.fr. Individuals and companies are then invited to limit consumption.
Finally, if the “electrical system” is “very tight”, a red Ecowatt alert is issued. Companies are invited to limit consumption very quickly. If the situation requires it, localized outages will be necessary for the proper functioning of the network as a whole. A drop in voltage is also envisaged to avoid reaching this situation.
The worst case scenario
The worst scenario envisaged by RTE, “which confronts a brutal hypothesis on European exchanges (…), to which would be added a very cold winter, which we have not known for more than 10 years”, around thirty red Ecowatt alerts would be issued. “It’s the worst-case scenario, it’s really very unlikely, but it exists,” says the executive director of RTE.
On the other hand, if the winter experiences milder temperatures, “you will not hear of RTE”, promises Thomas Veyrenc. The first seasonal trends issued in the coming weeks will then give an idea of the situation in the months to come.
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