Updates: last update's detail

Analysis of the winter period 2008-2009: moderate risk of interrupted supply.

Source: RTE 28/10/2008

At normal temperatures forecasts for the supply-demand balance for the winter period are more favourable than for last winter with the exception of January when the situation is expected to be tighter

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 demand 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 2008-2009, the study is based on higher electricity consumption forecasts than last year, with demand expected to peak at 84,400 MW during the second week of January, assuming temperatures are in line with seasonal norms.

The forecast outlook appears generally more favourable this winter than last winter, although there may be some tightness in the supply-demand balance for a few weeks in January.

Over the first two weeks of January, imports could prove necessary to cover French electricity demand and thereby satisfy the technical criterion adopted by RTE. To do this, suppliers would have to look to the European markets, in addition to activating load shedding possibilities with their customer portfolios. The estimated level of imports could therefore reach 1,300 MW in the second week of January.
Over the rest of the winter period, the forecast balance of exchanges needed to satisfy this same technical criterion allows France to remain a net exporter.

In the event of an intense and sustained cold snap, forecast reserves will fall, as electricity demand is particularly sensitive to changes in outside temperatures.
In such circumstances, French market suppliers could invoke additional load shedding clauses in their contracts with their own customers, or obtain supplies on the European market using the interconnection capacities made available by RTE.

Simple demand side management actions taken by the majority of consumers at appropriate times, such as during periods of high demand, can have a positive impact and help to ease any tightness in the electricity supply-demand balance.
Establishing and maintaining effective control of the demand for electricity is a major challenge for society, requiring a commitment by everyone, and it is an aim to which RTE intends to make a full contribution

View Analysis of the winter period 2008-2009.