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The security of France's power supply should be guaranteed until 2013 : generation adequacy report 2009

Source: DICAP 22/07/2009

RTE periodically establishes a multi-annual forecast report on the balance of electricity supply and demand in France.

Every two years, RTE publishes a long-term forecast analysis of the electricity supply-demand balance. In its latest Generation Adequacy report, up to 2025, RTE foresees that France's power supply should be secured until 2013, thanks to the development of new generating facilities, notably those based on renewable energy sources. However peak demand during cold spells increases quickly.

The Law of 10 February 2000 entrusted RTE with the task of drawing up a Generation Adequacy report on the electricity supply - demand balance every two years. By providing a valuable insight into both the nature of peak demand and the way the French power system interacts with its European neighbours, this report support the Government in developing an adequate supply of electricity.

On the demand-side, RTE expects a moderate growth in electricity consumption, of between 0.8% and 0.9% per year on average until 2025. According to a baseline scenario, French annual demand* would be 515 TWh** in 2015, 535 TWh** in 2020 and 560 TWh** in 2025.

French demand is rising primarily in the tertiary and residential sectors, due to demographic factors but also the switch from fossil-fuels to electricity for end-uses such as heating or transport. However, energy efficiency efforts are starting to produce concrete results and are being given greater impetus by the targets laid down in the French Government's "Grenelle" environmental plan.

Sensitivity of peak winter demand to outside temperature, which is currently 2,100 MW per °C, is set to reach 2,500 MW per °C by 2025. During very cold weather periods, RTE estimates the demand peak at 104,000 MW in 2015 and 108,000 MW in 2020 (compared with 92,400 MW recorded on 7 January 2009 at 7pm). Imports from neighbouring countries may well be used.

Alongside that, generation supply remains dynamic, notably driven by renewable energies. It is worth noting that photovoltaic generation is now emerging and should total 1,400 MW of capacity by 2015, in line with the Grenelle plan target of 5,400 MW by 2020. Wind generation continues to develop rapidly: this year, installed wind generating capacity passed the 4,000 MW mark, and is currently expanding at a rate of around 1,000 MW per year.

By 2015, the commissioning of combined cycle gas plants and the EPR nuclear reactor at Flamanville should offset the planned closure of some of the country's coal-fired facilities and the likely decline of the CHP fleet. In France and Europe, EU environmental standards will require the oldest thermal combustion plants to be shutdown by 2015.

RTE also points out that the security of the power supply to the Eastern part of the Provence-Alps-Côte d'Azur (PACA) area and Brittany requires urgent investments, as the situation in these two regions is already starting to become a concern. In the long run, the security of supply of these regions will depend on three pillars: increased demand side management efforts, notably at peak load, the development of local generation, including renewable energy sources, and network development.

> View Generation Adequacy Report

*Total annual consumption in mainland France excluding Corsica, at normal temperatures
**1 TWh = 1 billion kWh