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Life of the power system: French electricity results 2002.

Source: RTE 08/01/2003

French electricity results: RTE announces a high increase in electricity exports to the other countries of the European Union in 2002.

In France, the year 2002 was marked by stable power consumption, but a noteworthy increase in generation due to the rise of exports.

Increased flow on the power transmission system and a new export record in 2002
In 2002, the RTE network conveyed 512.3 billion kWh (TWh) versus 503.1 billion kWh (TWh) in 2001, an increase of 1.8%. Overall French exports made considerable strides forward from 72.9 TWh in 2001 to 80.6 TWh in 2002, i.e. 10.6% more than in 2001. On the other hand, overall French imports fell substantially, from 4.4 TWh in 2001 to 3.8 TWh in 2002, or a drop of about 14%. In all, the export balance came to 76.8 TWh in 2002, versus 68.5 TWh in 2001, i.e. a rise of 12%.
On Sunday, 22 December 2002, the historical record of the capacity export balance with a value of 13,277 MW, up 2.2%, was bettered.

Stability of power consumption despite a slight rise of industrial consumption
The particularly mild weather conditions in 2002 led to a drop in heating-related consumption, evaluated at 7 billion kWh compared with the prior year.
A slight upturn in industrial consumption was to be noted, from 92.7 TWh in 2001 to 93.2 TWh in 2002, i.e. a growth of 0.5%.
Total French consumption thus rose in 2002 to 448.7 TWh. Total consumption, adjusted for climate contingencies, showed a rise of 1.6% in 2002.

French power producers showed an increase of nearly 2% and the first wind farm was connected to the power transmission network.
French electricity output came to 532.9 TWh in 2002, a growth of 1.9% .
This increase is divided up between nuclear generation, up 4%, and conventional thermal generation, on the rise by 15.3%. The substantial share of thermal generation can be explained by a correlative drop in hydro generation (less 16.6% compared with 2001) mainly due to extremely low water availability observed during the first months of the year. With 415.5 TWh in output, nuclear power plants provided 78% of French generation, fossil-fired power plants 9.9% with an output of 52.9 TWh, and hydro power plants 12.1% with an output of 64.5 TWh
The year 2002 was marked by the connection to the power transmission network of the first wind farm with a capacity of 7 MW, in Aude, the connection of a 50 MW co-generation unit and the increase in the capacity of the Civaux nuclear power units from 1,450 MW to 1,495 MW.
Henceforth, the capacity connected to the RTE network represents 110 800 MW, whereas the total installed capacity in France comes to 115 600 MW.

The growth of electricity exchanges in France and with the rest of Europe is evidence of the real opening of the French market.
The Balance Responsible contract, a mechanism set up by RTE in November 2000 to make the conditions governing the access to the French market more equitable, was a great success. In 2002, the number of Balance Responsible entities rose by 50% and reached a total of 68 contracts at the end of 2002.

These contracts have enabled the Balance Responsible entities to develop base load energy blocks between the various users or between Balance Responsible entities. These exchanges are carried out through base load block notification contracts (NEB). This service, available since January 2001, witnessed the number of such contracts increase two-fold in 2002, from 558 to 1,074 NEBs. As for the volume exchanged within the scope of NEBs, it increased roughly five-fold, compared with the previous year, and came to 124 TWh in 2002.

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