Baptiste Morin / Photo credit: JEFF PACHOUD / AFP 11:30 a.m., December 02, 2023

While last winter, the French entered winter with the fear of load shedding, this year the situation is very different. The risk of power cuts is receding, thanks in particular to the French nuclear fleet, which has regained its power, and to well-filled gas reserves.

Will there be a risk of power cuts this winter? A year ago, the French were feverishly entering winter. The government feared load shedding and had presented an energy sobriety plan. A year later, the situation is very different.

France once again becomes Europe's leading net exporter of electricity

The risk of tension has been increased from high to low. This is primarily due to the French nuclear fleet. In October, its power was 43% higher year-on-year and it is expected to increase by another 20% by January. Planned maintenance and repairs related to the corrosion observed last year are well advanced. This year, France has even regained its position as the leading net exporter of electricity in Europe.

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No worries about gas reserves either. They were filled by using new suppliers. A growing share is now arriving in liquid form, the famous LNG (liquefied natural gas). However, for this winter, the electricity grid operator RTE is still focusing on sobriety. Last winter, the French reduced their consumption by 9%. According to forecasts, they are expected to reduce it by a further 8% this winter, which will help to reduce bills in the process.