The RTE electricity network operator is preparing for a winter under “vigilance”

The national manager of the Electricity Transmission Network (RTE) foresees a winter under “Particular vigilance” in terms of food security, confirming its spring forecast, he announced on Monday, November 22.

RTE is initially counting, until the end of the year, on a “Relatively low voltage risk”, but advocates more caution for January and February, the period most exposed to cold snaps, explains the group in an analysis note.

Two updates planned

However, a new monthly diagnostic system for security of supply will refine these forecasts and RTE is already announcing two updates which “Will refer”, for the first two months of the year 2022. They are expected “End of December or beginning of January” then ” at the end of January “, specified Thomas Veyrenc, strategy and prospective director of RTE, during a press conference.

“The further away we move towards January-February, the more we begin to have uncertainty about a certain number of parameters which are now very important: temperature, wind but also the availability of our production fleet, and in particular of the nuclear park “, he justified.

This will allow RTE to better understand the supply-demand balance, with a more precise schedule for reactor outages linked to maintenance and with more reliable weather forecasts on temperature and wind conditions, while energy renewables grow in the energy balance.

The calendar affected by the health crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken up the maintenance schedule for nuclear reactors in spring 2020, and the repercussions will be felt “Minimum” until next spring, estimates RTE. The question is particularly sensitive for France, whose electricity production is 70% nuclear.

“In 2021, we have a nuclear fleet maintenance program which is still quite busy”, underlined Mr. Veyrenc. Early next year, “We must expect a lower availability of nuclear power than the historical average”, he continued, specifying however that these elements had been anticipated by RTE.

Electricity consumption in France, for its part, recovered to almost regain its pre-crisis levels, remaining slightly lower, compared to the same time in 2019.

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The World with AFP

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