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France braces for uncertain winter as nuclear power shortage looms

“Sky-high electricity prices are an economic threat, with France’s nuclear issues seemingly turning into a greater challenge than Russian gas flows,”

 https://www.reuters.com/world/france-braces-uncertain-winter-nuclear-power-shortage-looms-2022-08-30/ By Forrest CrellinSilvia Aloisi and Nina Chestney

PARIS, Aug 30 (Reuters) – France, once Europe’s top power exporter, may not produce enough nuclear energy this winter to help European neighbours seeking alternatives to Russian gas, and may even have to ration electricity to meet its own needs.

France has for years helped to underpin Europe’s electricity supply, providing about 15% of the region’s total power generation.

But this year, for the first time since French records began in 2012, France has become a net power importer as its own production of nuclear energy hit a 30-year low, based on data from consultancy EnAppSys

The supply squeeze, caused by a wave of repairs at the country’s nuclear power stations, couldn’t have come at a worse time. Europe is in the grip of an energy crisis as Russian gas supplies plummet in the wake of the Ukraine conflict and France, which derives 70% of its electricity from nuclear energy, has lost its edge.

French power prices have hit a string of all-time highs – topping 1,000 euros ($1,004.10) per megawatt hour earlier this month – on expectations the country will not have enough electricity to meet domestic demand. That surge, from prices of around 70 euros a year ago, has added to a cost-of-living crisis.

“Sky-high electricity prices are an economic threat, with France’s nuclear issues seemingly turning into a greater challenge than Russian gas flows,” said Norbert Rücker, head of economics and next generation research at Julius Baer.

August 30, 2022 - Posted by | France, politics

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