France may be at risk of 'some days' of power cuts this winter

18:30 | 01.12.2022
France may face "some days" this winter when insufficient electricity supply could mean power cuts, the head of French energy regulator RTE said, reported from Reuters.

"The situation entails risks, but one must not think power cuts are inevitable," Xavier Piechaczyk told France Info radio.

Piechaczyk in the interview stuck with the watchdog's last supply forecast, which had highlighted risks of shortages in January.

"Today we have 35 gigawatt of available nuclear power as of December 1, the aim is to reach between 40 and 41 on Jan. 1 and to end the month at around 43, compared to a total capacity of 61", he said. 

Piechaczyk said the forecast was modeled on EDF's nuclear maintenance schedule, with some additional delays already anticipated.

EDF has faced an unprecedented number of outages at its fleet of nuclear reactors, pushing nuclear output to a 30-year low just as Europe scrambles to replace Russian gas.

In RTE's scenario, there is a risk of "some days this winter" when the country's electricity monitoring application Ecowatt will display a red signal, Piechaczyk said. This would trigger a need to load users partially off the power grid.
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