Electricité: la baisse inattendue de la consommation permis d’éviter les coupures

Without decrease in needs and if the use of imports had been limited, up to twelve Red Ecowatt signals could have been issued, according to RTE.

per perrine Mourte

Never, for several decades, the risk of power cuts had been so high. Tensions on gas supply in the context of the war in Ukraine, historical unavailability of the nuclear fleet due to maintenance operations and corrosion problems, just as historic fall in hydraulic production … From September 2022, the manager of the RTE electricity transport network alerted the possibility of having to use turning and launched the “Ecowatt” signal to raise awareness and mobilize the French.

Five months later, no alert was issued and RTE returned, Thursday, March 16, on the reasons why France escaped the cuts. Even before the weather conditions, the company highlights two fundamental elements. “The consumption of electricity of the French, local authorities and companies has decreased considerably, which was desirable but unexpected, and European exchanges of electricity and gas worked fluidly, underlined Xavier Piechaczyk, the Chairman of the board of RTE. Without that, we would have spent a very different winter. “

Between October and February, consumption fell in France, excluding weather effects, about 9 % compared to the reference period (2014-2019)-about around 20 terawat-hour ( Twh). A decrease which is explained both by economic factors and “price signal”, particularly in industry, but also by changes in behavior and sobriety or “gaspi hunting”.

Electricity imports 2>

“It is not easy to know which factor played as a priority because these reasons are not exclusive, notes Thomas Veyrenc, Executive Director Strategy, Prospective and Evaluation. But all sectors have mobilized since there are had a drop in consumption, in significant proportions, both in the tertiary sector, in industry and in households. “Regarding industry, the effect was relatively stable throughout the period and particularly marked on certain large Sites of the steel, metallurgy and chemistry sectors. In the tertiary sector and the residential, the heating lever is the one that was the most used, the drop in consumption is particularly observed during the coldest weeks.

If winter has been relatively mild, with temperatures slightly higher than normal (+ 0.8 ° C compared to winter standards), it was also marked by cold periods. “The net effect on consumption linked to the weather is indeed lower but it is not much, of the order of 7 TWh, specifies Thomas Veyrenc. The effects associated with the drop in consumption are therefore three largest that those associated with the weather. “

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