Updates: last update's detail

The situation is improving on the French electric system.

Source: RTE 21/08/2003

The end of the heat wave drastically reduces the risk of power cuts.

France should not see any power cuts during this week, mainly due to the improved climatic outlook.
Last week, electricity generation was handicapped by exceptional climatic conditions. Low river levels led to a drop in hydro-electric generation, and also meant that operating restrictions had to be imposed on thermal power plants (coal, fuel-oil and nuclear plants). In addition, consumption remained high for this time of the year.

While the significant drop in temperatures has brought some respite for the country's power consumption, three other factors have also contributed to improve the situation.
Firstly, the French public authorities allowed EDF power stations to discharge water at higher temperatures. Consequently, the level of electricity generation was maintained.
Secondly, public appeals to French citizens civic sensibility and solidarity have been successful - since August 14th consumption levels have been consistently lower than forecasts. RTE estimates that between 200 and 300 MW of the drop in demand for electricity, the equivalent of the consumption of a medium-sized city such as Nantes, can be attributed to the efforts of the French people to alter their power consumption habits. It should also be pointed out that, according to EDF, various major French industrial groups offered to "shade" their consumption, meaning that they agreed to use lower volumes of energy than they should normally have consumed.
Finally, the end of the heat wave across Europe has eased the strain on the European electricity market, and facilitated the co-operation between European Transmission System Operators, in order to provide significant mutual help in case of emergency.

As a result, RTE does not consider deciding any power cuts, meaning temporary and controlled interruptions of the supply for certain consumers on distribution networks.
However, all RTE's staff remain alert to deal with any unexpected eventuality. Indeed, one of RTE's basic responsibilities is to manage this kind of extreme situations, and take every measure necessary to avoid any knock-on effect leading to widespread outages, such as those seen recently in North America.