French power grid operator RTE has requested domestic companies, local authorities and households to reduce their energy consumption tomorrow morning.
It has called for energy usage to cut down between 7am and 10am on Monday, warning of a potentially “tense” situation between the supply and demand of electricity.
Customers are also advised to turn down thermostats in their homes if they are out, switch off devices on standby and reduce the number of lights on in a room.
This follows a cold wave across Europe, which has caused demand to rebound as the continent recovers from the pandemic.
There are also geopolitical factors putting pressure on gas prices – with Russian President Vladimir Putin now demanding rouble payments for energy in retaliation to Western sanctions.
A sharp decline nuclear output has further exacerbated demand, with outages this year at several reactors in France amid pipeline defects.
This has dragged its output to multiyear lows at a time when a surge in energy prices has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
RTE said the electricity consumption may reach 73,000 megawatt (MW) on Monday morning – while the production of electricity may reach 65,000 MW.
Consequently, France may need to import up to 11,000 MW.
The grid operator doesn’t expect any power cuts and will update its forecast on Sunday.
In February, the company said it was necessary to maintain a heightened level of vigilance in case of a cold wave lasting several consecutive days, low wind production or a sharp decline in nuclear availability.