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French electricity report 2003.

Source : RTE 07/01/2004

2003 saw a growth in electricity consumption in France, a global increase in cross-border commercial exchanges, but also a drop in the net export balance.

French internal electricity consumption grew substantially in 2003
It reached 467.3 TWh in 2003, i.e. an increase of 3.9% over 2002.
2003 was marked by a particularly contrasted climate, which led to an increase in electricity consumption, mainly domestic (cold spells at the start of the year and in October, summer heatwave). The new absolute record for energy consumption in France was established on Wednesday 8th January 2003 at 7 pm, with a power demand of 80,190 MW.

The net export balance for international physical flows reached 66.1 TWh in 2003, down 14% from 2002 due to the exceptional climatic conditions. This change is primarily the result of a drop in exports of around 10% and, to a lesser extent, an increase in electricity imports. The instantaneous balance of exchanges remained largely export-orientated throughout the whole of 2003, including during maximum consumption periods.

French electricity generation reached 540.7 TWh in 2003, i.e. an increase of 1.2% compared with 2002.

The generation adequacy report produced by RTE in 2003 on changes in the supply/demand balance up to 2015 shows that new peak generation facilities will be required by 2008. The 2003 results relating to growth in electricity consumption in France confirm this diagnosis.

2003 marks the completion of the first construction phase of the French electricity market

Contractually, 2003 saw the continued development of energy block exchanges between balance responsible entities within the French market. The volume of block exchange notifications increased by over 20% compared with 2002.

RTE successfully implemented the balancing mechanism, created on 1st April 2003, to balance the supply and demand for electricity constantly and in real time. By the end of 2003, the number of actors had risen to 18. The energy involved represented approximately 2% of French consumption. Each balance responsible entity's position is determined based on a price given by this mechanism.

With 7,482 GWh traded in 2003, the French Powernext electricity exchange saw its activity almost triple in a year and it has moved into a long-term growth trend.

In 2004 the second phase of market deregulation is set to begin
This affects all professional customers, i.e. over 3 million eligible customers. RTE must therefore adapt its balance responsible entity system by 1st July 2004.

The second European directive on the internal electricity market, which was adopted on 26th June 2003, requires each of the electricity transmission systems to be legally independent with regard to competitive activities, in order to guarantee fair access to these networks under efficient and non-discriminatory conditions.
RTE's legal independence will be in addition to its already existing financial management and accounting independence and its management conditions. It must come into effect by 1st July 2004 at the latest.

See the Press File in our "News" section
See the French 2003 electricity report (soon available in english) in our "Life of the power system / Annual publications / Energy reports" section.