Updates: last update's detail

Winter outlook for supply-demand balance of next winter: slim risk of interrupted supply.

Source: RTE 07/11/2005

RTE has conducted an analysis of the winter period 2005-2006: the outlook is more positive than last year at normal temperatures, due to the good level of availability of generating facilities.

Every year, RTE conducts a prospective study of the balance between supply and demand for electricity for the coming winter period, covering the whole of mainland France. This time of the year generally sees high levels of electricity consumption as temperatures fall.
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 during peak consumption periods in France.

For the winter period 2005-2006, the study is based on higher forecasts that last year, with consumption expected to peak at 80 800 MW during the first week of January, assuming temperatures are in line with seasonal norms.

Forecast margins for the winter period 2005-2006, estimated for temperatures close to the seasonal norms, are higher than those established at this time last year for winter 2004-2006, mainly due to the good level of availability of generating facilities. For the duration of the period studied, forecast generating capacities are more than sufficient to satisfy mainland French consumption, and should actually enable French generators to export power on the European markets.

However, in the event of an intense and sustained cold snap, forecast margins will fall, as electricity consumption is particularly sensitive to changes in outside temperatures. For temperatures 5C below the seasonal norm, consumption could increase by up to almost 9 000 MW at peak times.
In such circumstances, French market suppliers could call extra consumption shading measures contracted with their customer portfolios or obtain supplies on the European market using the interconnection capacities made available by RTE.

The Law of 9th August 2004 stipulates that the power available from technically operational generating facilities, which generators are not using for their own purposes, must be made available to RTE via the balancing mechanism. RTE can therefore call on bids made on the balancing mechanism in real time or on a day-ahead basis, to maintain the supply-demand balance at all times and reconstitute the emergency margins needed to operate the power system in complete security.

See Analysis of the winter period 2005-2006.