Fig DATA – Consumption levels, production, imports, Ecowatt and Ecogaz alerts… Get all information about the health status of the tricolor grid and gas supply through the tricolor grid dashboard. Figaro.
Will France have enough electricity to survive the winter? Just a few months ago, this vexing question, unimaginable, has surfaced in public debate as challenges pile up for the tricolor energy system. The war in Ukraine, corrosion affecting nuclear reactors, delays in maintenance at power plants due to the pandemic, slow installation of new generation capacities… Many factors “the perfect storm“, would disrupt the hexagon’s power supply.
Fears of load shedding – those targeted, temporary and organized outages over time – are being scrutinized by authorities in January, especially if they gradually ease as the mercury rises. The risk level for the next weeks is “AVERAGEby network manager, RTE. The analysis is also linked to other elements that are difficult to predict: if the efforts of households, businesses and administrations continue and the weather remains mild, France will experience an uninterrupted winter.
Production, consumption, Ecowatt signal, gas reserves… At the beginning of a critical period for the French energy system, Le Figaro therefore compiled the data shared by the main players such as EDF or RTE to allow to visualize the evolution of the indicators. Various charts will be updated automatically throughout the winter.
Energy: a tool to visualize the state of the network at a glance
Our first tool allows you to quickly find information about the main components of the French energy system. In particular, you can find the Ecowatt signal, its gas counterpart Ecogaz, as well as the status of gas reserves available in France. The data transmitted by EDF also allows monitoring the state of the French nuclear fleet by seeing how many reactors are operating each day. Finally, an analysis of RTE data highlights how much of the electricity consumed in France is imported. A way to measure France’s growing dependence on its neighbors.
Ecowatt: important signal in case of voltage in the network
It’s an indicator the French are now well aware of, as authorities continue to emphasize its central role in the coming weeks. right”electric air», Ecowatt allows you to record the planned – or not – voltage in the network in the near future. A way for consumers to monitor the state of the system and ask RTE to make an effort to be vigilant under penalty of resorting to emergency measures including load shedding.
Easy to follow, the Ecowatt signal schematically summarizes the voltage level in the network according to the expected consumption. It is divided into three colors – green, orange and red – and provides forecasts for four days, where its gas counterpart Ecogaz offers to see the situation for the next five days. “Orange, we have more margin. Red, if we don’t all get our hands on it, it’s no exception that we’ll be throwing loads“, Xavier Piechaczyk, chairman of the board of RTE, explained at the end of the year. In other words, the red signal indicates that efforts must be made on D-Day, otherwise backup means must be resorted to.
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Production: France remains dependent on nuclear power
Now let’s come to the two main electricity indicators: production and consumption. First, real-time generation figures from RTE highlight the heavy weight of nuclear power in the tricolor electricity mix. Thus, in 2021, nuclear accounted for about 77% of electricity sold by EDF, ahead of hydro at 8.6%, gas at 7% and renewables at 5.9%. Then we better understand the main issue of restarting the reactors to survive the winter.
The data revised by us allows us to visualize production by sector over several days to observe the evolution, especially for renewable energy and gas.
Production: vigilance and sacrifices are felt
In the last main part, the country’s electricity consumption indicators are presented compared to previous years. As officials regularly point out, France benefits from an equally reduced demand during these periods of limited supply. It is the result of the discreet efforts of various actors as well as the dedication of industrialists in the face of rising energy prices. However, comparisons with previous years should be nuanced, with data not taking into account average temperatures at the end of 2022, which were particularly mild.
That being said, the real and massive decline in consumption is confirmed week after week, including by combining this factor. According to RTE, this has reached 8.5% over the past four weeks compared to the average for recent years between 2014 and 2019.applies to all sectors: industrial, tertiary and residential” the manager notes and adds, for example, “Thus, the aggregate consumption of the residential and tertiary sectors (after adjusting for weather effects) was about 6% below the 2021 level.“.