If a risk of power cut exists for the coming winter, the next one is more feared by the authorities.
The coming winter is at the heart of all questions. Will there be power cuts during peak consumption, between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.? If the situation in December seems reassuring, it will be more complicated in January and February, where the risk of outages is higher according to RTE.
But above all, it is the following winter that worries us even more. Asked about BFM Business, the president of the Energy Regulation Commission (CRE) Emmanuelle Wargon warned: “We have a good chance that it will not end up going too badly for the winter of 2022-23. For 2023 -2024, it’s still really very uncertain”, she added, acknowledging that this second winter under tension would “probably” be the most risky.
“The situation will be more complicated for gas”
A well-founded fear according to Thierry Bros, professor at Sciences Po and specialist in energy issues. “In terms of gas, we know that the situation will be more complicated than it will be this year. Due to the war in Ukraine, even if the stocks are full, it will be more complicated to fill them before next winter. , than it was the previous winter. We will not be able to find as many gas resources as before to replace Russian gas”, explains the specialist.
Indeed, the war in Ukraine broke out on February 24, 2022, which means that gas stocks were still supplied with Russian gas during last winter, thus making it possible to maintain a high level of reserves, which are today 100% full.
An improvement in nuclear production?
Another element, more positive, concerning electricity this time. “Concerning nuclear power, we can hope that the situation will be more favorable than that of this winter, betting on more power plants in operation in a year”, continues Thierry Bros, adding however that “energy will not be as abundant as in the past”.
Up to 27 of the 56 French nuclear reactors have been shut down in recent weeks, depriving France of a large part of the origin of its production. A large part of the shutdowns of power plants are due to the delay in ten-year maintenance, due to confinements linked to the Covid pandemic, and the discovery last winter of corrosion problems, forcing EDF to undertake an almost general inspection of the reactors.
Businesses at risk?
An optimist tempered by Emmanuelle Galichet, doctor in nuclear physics and teacher-researcher at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (Cnam), for whom the situation will be tense “until we have completed the ten-yearly inspections of the 1,300 reactors and 1,400 MW, I would say until 2025. There will still be two rather complicated winters”, she confides to the Midi Libre.
Consequences, dreads Thierry Bros, “as we will not have abundant and cheap energy, the deindustrialization which has begun, will intensify, and this will balance the system. But companies which need a lot of energy like Duralex and Arcelor Mittal are in mortal danger, especially since there will be no new power plant before 2040. The choice to close Fessenheim is a mistake that we are paying for today”, concludes the specialist.
During the last presidential campaign, Emmanuel Macron announced in his program his desire to build six to fourteen EPRs, and to extend the existing nuclear fleet. The first are planned for 2035.
VIDEO – Thierry Bros: “The question is: will we be able when we press the button to have electricity this winter?”
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