| 1 December 2023, Friday |

Macron says “no panic” about possible French power cuts

However, he urged people to use less energy and the state utility EDF to restart nuclear reactors to avert disruptions in case of cold weather. French President Emmanuel Macron said there was no need to panic over potential power shortages this winter.

This week, during his state visit to the United States, Macron refuted claims that the possibility of rolling blackouts was a result of improper management of EDF’s nuclear reactor restart program in an interview with French television station TF1.

EDF has faced an unprecedented number of outages at its fleet of nuclear reactors following repair work, reducing nuclear output to a 30-year low just as Europe scrambles to replace Russian gas supplies, which Moscow cut off in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed over its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

The head of French power grid operator RTE said on Thursday that France may face “some days” of power cuts this winter and the government has started briefing local authorities on how to handle any outages.

In reports about how to get ready for blackouts, French media suggested purchasing candles, locking up refrigerators and freezers, and charging cellphones.

Due to delays in the restart of the nuclear reactors, analysts predict that cold weather could cause power outages as early as Monday.

On Saturday, the Ecowatt power availability forecasting tool from RTE did not indicate any potential grid stress for the four days leading up to Tuesday.

  • Reuters