LONDON (ICIS)–The French government is looking
into reinforcing energy solidarity with
European neighbours, particularly Spain and
Germany, ahead winter, while it also stressed
the importance of reactivating the country’s
nuclear reactors currently under maintenance.
The French government held an emergency defence
and security council focused on energy supply
security ahead of the winter season on Friday.
“The council particularly examined France’s
solidarity with Germany and Spain.This
reciprocal solidarity should be reinforced by
this winter” French energy transition ministry
Agnes-Pannier Runacher said in a press
The French government indicated that exchange
of gas and power between France and these two
countries will therefore be strengthened this
REACTIVATE EDF REACTORS
According to Pannier-Runacher, French nuclear
operator EDF has committed to restart all the
reactors currently under planned maintenance
for this winter “and we are extremely vigilant
to make sure the timetable is respected”.
According to the French minister, starting from
October, several nuclear reactors should return
online every week in accordance to the
32 nuclear reactors are currently under
maintenance according to the French minister.
“The minister’s comments are frankly rather
bemusing, considering they come just one week
after EDF said that its annual nuclear
production would “probably” reach the bottom of
its 280-300TWh target. Our analysis at the time
indicated that for output to drop that far from
the current schedule, the seven outages at
corrosion reactors scheduled to end in 2022
would basically have to be extended into 2023”
ICIS power analyst, William Peck said.
“Nevertheless, were these reactors to return on
schedule, it would be highly bearish for winter
French power, with spillover to longer-dated
contracts, neighbouring markets, and European
coal, gas, and carbon prices. The first of this
group of reactors is not scheduled to return
until early November, but traders will be
eagerly looking for indications from EDF, ASN
and the French government in the interim”.
September’s nuclear capacity is set to average
at 47.5% of availability out of the total
installed capacity of the French nuclear fleet,
expected to rise to 71.5% in Q4, RTE data
The daily forecast for French nuclear
availability shows that fourth quarter
availability is estimated to average at 43.9GW,
which is 0.6GW below the 2017-2021 average.
“Our LNG terminals are working at full speed
and our stocks are already 92% full” Agnes
Pannier Runacher said, indicating that France
has already achieved its refill target months
France has also diversified its gas supplies
amid constraints on Russian gas flows, the
French politician noted.
“Thanks to our energy solidarity our European
neighbours have also been able to refill their
storage capacity,” Runacher said.
ENERGY SOBRIETY PLAN PIVOTAL
The success of the energy sobriety plan will
allow France to avoid more restrictive measures
this winter thanks to the cooperation among
several sectors, Runacher said.
Nevertheless, the plan which aims at
curbing French gas and power consumption by 10%
by 2024 will not require French industries to
curb their production output, the French