France Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday “We are on the right track regarding avoiding electricity cuts” underlining that France would be able to steer clear of apprehended power cuts in the winter with help of additional nuclear reactors.
Le Maire obviates fear
With the onset of winter as the demand for electricity increases, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said that they would increase the number of currently operating nuclear reactors from 41 to 45 by the month of January next year.
France is said to be one of the most nuclear powered countries in the world, producing over 70% of its electricity with the help of 56 of its reactors and it provides about 15% of Europe’s total power via exports. Nonetheless, EDF had to take down some of the reactors for maintenance this year just as Europe is struggling to cope with cuts in Russian natural gas supplies used for generating electricity.The power cuts are now being apprehended as corrosion has led to many of the reactors unable to function
A few days back when the officials were on high alert over the winter power insufficiency a letter was addressed to all competent authorities by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. According to the letter government services had been prompted to prepare local emergency plans. Power cuts will be limited to specific locations and last no longer than two houirs at a time, with a three-day notice the letter wrote. Education Minister Pap Ndiaye said on December 6 Vulnerable groups and high-risk institutions, such as hospitals and A&E services, should not be affected, though schools may have to shut down for hours at a time.
According to sources, the government faced criticisms and questions by the opposition on how it would manage the energy distribution through the winter. A communist MP said the National Assembly “citizens are paying the price of the government’s unpreparedness” and accused the government with a remark of “energy irresponsibility”.
What reports said
A report by ENTSO-E the European association for the cooperation of transmission system operators for electricity some of the EU are in the risk of facing electricity supply strains this winter. “The report shows higher adequacy risk compared to previous winters. The main system stress is identified in Ireland, France, Southern Sweden, Finland, Malta and Cyprus systems”.
A similar action was taken by the French government when it announced a set of measures in October this year to avoid energy insufficiency due to the war in Ukraine and lower the amount of energy consumption in France. “Our fight does not end with the winter of 2022-2023” said the Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher. The government recommendations included less heating and lighting, more remote work for staff in government services.
President Emmanuel Macron said, “if we all mobilize to meet this objective, we will get through the winter even in the most unfavorable scenarios”. “Restraint simply means becoming more efficient” he added.