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Impact of the ?Five Minutes' Respite for the Planet? operation on French electricity consumption.

Source: RTE 02/02/2007

RTE publishes a press release detailing the impact of the ?Five Minutes' Respite for the Planet? operation on French electricity consumption.

Today, 1 February 2007, a federation of environmental associations called on people across French to turn off their lights and electric appliances on standby between 7.55 and 8pm.

At 7.55pm, electricity consumption in France was 75,520 MW. RTE observed an abrupt drop in consumption of about 800 MW, more than 1% of the country's total consumption, equivalent to that of a city like Marseilles. According to initial estimates, the decrease corresponds to consumption from lighting and appliances on standby by about 3 million households.

The French power system is configured to be able to adapt to variations in consumption and generation caused by normal daily activities or the outage of a generating unit. A considerable and very rapid variation of consumption, however, imbalances the system and could imperil the security of electric power supply across the country.

RTE staff, especially dispatchers who work day and night to maintain the balance between electricity consumption and generation in France, took all the necessary steps this evening to control the impact of consumption variations.

In particular, RTE anticipated the operation by ordering that power plants be put on stand by, ready to react quickly to the abrupt decrease in consumption starting at 7.55pm, and the subsequent rise at 8pm.

In addition, the balance electricity generation and consumption in France was supported by other European transmission system operators via the interconnections between France and its neighbours.

RTE is acutely aware of issues relating to global warming and the energy saving initiatives designed to slow it. The electricity report for 2006 showed that consumption by households increased by 2% last year, continuing the trend seen in previous years.

RTE is fully committed to efforts aimed at moderating electricity consumption in day to day life, in order to avoid the consumption peaks that are becoming increasingly common, especially in winter.

Load curves showing French electricity consumption can be consulted on the RTE website, at: http://www.rte-france.com/htm/an/vie/courbes.jsp