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Supply-demand balance for summer 2008.

Source: RTE 02/06/2008

For summer 2008, generation available in France should be sufficient to cover electricity demand, unless there is a sustained heatwave.

In spring every year since 2004, RTE has carried out a forecast study of the balance between supply and demand for electricity for the coming summer period, covering the whole of mainland France. This recurring exercise forms part of the Heatwave Plan introduced by the government in the wake of the heatwave that struck France during the summer of 2003. The study is used to identify periods where the supply-demand balance comes under strain; it explores the measures that can be taken by electricity market players and RTE to avoid any interruption in supply.

Demand levels recorded in France during the summer period are far lower than those in winter, when electricity consumption peaks. Nonetheless, periods of high temperatures can lead to reductions in the amount of electricity generated, as power plants are forced to comply with environmental restrictions. Also, increased use of air-conditioning and ventilation equipment leads to a rise in electricity demand. The combination of these two phenomena, which were particularly acute during the summers of 2003 and 2006, requires special attention. That is the purpose of the study carried out by RTE.

The forecast analysis carried out by RTE includes the various components of electricity supply (national generation and imports from neighbouring countries) and demand (French demand and exports to neighbouring countries).

RTE presents the results of this forecast study, illustrating the "maximum" balance of cross-border exchanges needed to satisfy safety criteria and maintain the supply-demand balance. Several scenarios are looked at: with "normal" temperatures on the one hand, and with heatwave conditions on the other hand.

For temperatures close to seasonal norms, the forecast supply-demand balance for electricity shows no particular difficulties throughout summer 2008, although the later part of the period is set to be slightly tighter than the previous year. However, a sustained heatwave with temperatures 7C above seasonal norms, would see generation fall and demand rise. In such a scenario, the analysis shows that in order to satisfy electricity demand in France, it could be necessary to obtain additional supply from the European markets, particularly during the tightest period between mid-August and mid-September.

Consult Forecast Analysis.