Cold Wave: Will we have Enough Electricity Next Week?

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Will we have enough electricity in France because of the Cold Wave

Meteo France announces a very big cold wave next week, especially between Wednesday and Friday. Things are heating up for the power grid that may run out of fuel …

You have not seen anything yet. It’s going to be cold. Very cold. Next week, from Tuesday. The Météo France announces temperatures below zero throughout the country. Worse, the seasonal norm will explode, midweek: 5 ° to 10 ° less than a normal winter in some regions. Brrr …

lack of electricity?

Faced with such a situation, there are not 36 solutions. It takes up the heat. And there, there may be an electrical problem when we know that in three households are heated with electricity. RTE (Electricity Transport Network, a subsidiary of EDF), quoted by the daily Les Echos explains that “for every degree of temperature in less nationally, consumption increases to 2,400 megawatts, equivalent consumption of central Paris “ .

The request may therefore be very strong. RTE estimated 100 gigawatts between Wednesday and Friday, the cold period peak. Almost a record (102 GW in 2012).

The authorities take very seriously this passage more than chilly. A meeting was held this morning at the Ministry of Environment and Energy with market participants to take stock of supplies.

The government fears, perhaps rightly, that electricity production is insufficient to ensure.

Exceptional measures on Tuesday

End of 2015, France had 130 GW in the pipelines. Limit since this potential is not available at the same time. According to RTE, only 85 MW would be available during the peak of the next week.

We must find solutions. Fortunately, there is. They are of several types.

The manager of RTE power transmission network planned to launch as early as Tuesday ‘some’ exceptional measures envisaged to meet the electricity needs of France facing the cold snap.

The margins available are “reduced” but “at this stage […] there are no planned cuts” , said a spokesman for RTE, during a conference call.

Increase capacity

The French network is not operating at full capacity because several nuclear reactors (France into account 58) are stopped for maintenance or inspections related to safety demanded by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN). EDF asked yesterday to ASN in the ability to connect some more than expected.

ASN announced this Friday, January 13, it agreed to defer two-week shutdown for verification of the reactor 2 plant of Tricastin. The same procedure could be established to the reactor 1 from the Civaux.

Furthermore, the Authority also indicated that it gave its agreement to restart new EDF reactors with a total capacity of 8.1 gigawatts, checked following an abnormal carbon concentration detected on steel used in generators.

Buy electricity from neighbours …

France can also buy electricity to its neighbours. But this is quite limited: 12 MW maximum.

RTE may also carry out local short power cuts for one to two hours. But this solution must be used sensitively. Exclude light, heating, TV, computer several million French is not necessarily popular …

That said, consumers may also participate in the effort. How? Consuming less …

According to RTE, turn off lights and printers would reduce consumption from February to March gigawatts, or the capacity of two nuclear reactors.

Industry to the rescue

Some industries are energy intensive. A decline in consumption can bring some flexibility. It’s planned…

21 industrial sites, which combine 1.6 MW (roughly the power of a large reactor), signed a contract with RTE to stop, to temporary close. In exchange, they receive € 90,000 per year per “reducible megawatt”.

This device is used as a last resort.

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