A Franco-German agreement will be signed next week to “secure electricity import capacities” in France, the French government announced Friday to the press.
This winter, electricity could be in short supply in France, where 70% of the power is nuclear.
The country has been weakened by a much lower availability of its nuclear fleet, with about half of the 56 reactors shut down due to scheduled maintenance or work related to corrosion problems and delays in the start-up schedule.
In this uncertain context for energy security, the government is betting on “two crucial points to secure the passage of the winter” and avoid targeted cuts: “efforts to reduce energy consumption” and “European energy solidarity”.
On this last lever, a “Franco-German agreement” is about to succeed in “securing electricity import capacities” in France, the Ministry of Energy Transition has learned.
“The government is working at the European level to ensure that neighboring Member States and Germany in particular play the game of energy solidarity by allowing the export of electricity to France at maximum capacity,” it said.
“The results of this work are positive and should lead to the signing of an agreement with Germany next week,” the ministry stressed.
It should allow to “maximize” the export capacities of electricity from Germany to France.
Paris has already been sending gas to its German neighbor since mid-October to help it overcome the drying up of Russian gas flows.
The issue is to ensure that “the minimum capacity is well put and is maximized beyond the European framework especially during days of tension on the power grid in France,” says a government source.
This agreement will concretize a gas-electricity mutual aid agreement formalized on September 5 between the French and German leaders, Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz.
The two leaders had agreed that France would deliver more gas to Germany, which could in return supply, if necessary, electricity to its neighbor weakened by a nuclear production at the lowest.
The French electricity transmission system operator RTE also welcomed on Friday the “reinforcement” from mid-November of “the physical exchange capacity with Belgium and the increase by the German managers of the capacities offered to the existing interconnections”, leading “to increase the import potential, and therefore to strengthen the security of supply”.