Europe 1 with AFP 7:41 p.m., December 28, 2022
The Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), chaired by the former Minister for Housing Emmanuelle Wargon, does not anticipate any risk of power cuts before mid-January.
It notes a 9% drop in total consumption over the past four months in France.
The president of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) Emmanuelle Wargon does not anticipate any risk of power cuts before mid-January, the call for sobriety having been "really heard by the French", with a 9% drop in total consumption over the last four months in France.
Electrical load shedding consists of temporarily interrupting the supply of electricity on part of the network to avoid its saturation due to high demand.
"No difficulty" at least until January 15
"Until January 15, we know that we will have no difficulty" to cover the needs of the population and businesses in electricity, thanks to the forecast temperatures, the efforts of sobriety of all and the progressive restart of nuclear reactors of EDF, indicated Emmanuelle Wargon, questioned on France Inter.
"Afterwards, if there is a cold snap, the situation will inevitably be more tense," she warned, welcoming the "citizen gesture" of the French who spontaneously reduced their consumption at the end of the year.
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"On the household side, on the residential side, that really means that people are paying attention and that they are anticipating the increase in regulated prices, which will be 15% in January for gas and 15% in February for electricity" said estimated Emmanuelle Wargon.
A 15% increase in prices, "it remains a shield" of protection for consumers, she argued.
If there was not this shield supported by the State, the CRE calculated that gas prices in France would be "roughly multiplied by two" in 2023, she said.
France, "one of the most generous countries in the world"
"A household with a gas bill of 1,500 euros a year would go up to 3,000 euros (...) and in electricity, if there was no shield, it would also probably be roughly doubled," said she said.
"We are one of the most generous countries in the world" in this area, she added.
"It is the job of the government to decide" whether the gas shield, which covers the first six months of 2023, is "extended beyond the first half", added Emmanuelle Wargon.
In electricity, the shield covers the whole of 2023.
"The condominiums which are heated with gas are fully reintegrated into the shield from January 1, 2023; in electricity it is not quite the same aid system: the condominiums contract and then have aid which lowers the bill. You often have to pay upfront," she explained.
-9% electricity consumption over the last four months
On the consumption side, according to data published on Tuesday by the operator of the high-voltage electricity network RTE, electricity consumption continues to fall in France, with a drop of 7.4% last week compared to the average for previous years ( 2014-2019) the same week.
"Over the last four months, we have -9% electricity consumption, it is true for companies, including industrialists, and it is true for households" said Emmanuelle Wargon.
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Asked about a "turnaround" by Emmanuel Macron in nuclear matters between his two terms of office, she explained that the "real turning point" was when "we went from a hypothesis of stable electricity consumption in 2040- 2050 to a sharp increase in consumption hypothesis".
The previous government had worked on RTE forecasts dating back to 2015-16, she said.
"Now, we know that in fact we need a lot more electricity in 2050 to be at the rendezvous of decarbonization, energy transition and the fight against global warming. For that, we need a lot more electricity (...) we need more nuclear and more renewables," she added.