France needs to Improve Power Generation to deal with higher demand
During winter months, France turned net importer of electricity and if the demand remains high during peak season, the country will have to improve its power generation capacity. This winter was the first time in last five years when France had to import record 950 gigawatt-hour electricity on net basis during January.
Prolonged outages at nuclear power facilities also resulted in higher imports during January. Currently, 58 nuclear reactors are functional across the country and many of them need repair.
In January 2017, 290 million Euros were spent on electricity import compared to 56 million Euros during January 2016.
Authorities support renewable energy sources for additional power and in the years to come, more sources will be required to deal with higher requirements. French grid operator RTE informed that the power consumption has increased in the recent years.
Compared to 2015/16, import of electricity from neighbors increased by 30 percent in 2016/17.
France is still lagging behind in implementation of renewable power sources. The energy law passed in 2015 aims to reduce the share of nuclear power to 50 percent by year 2025.
In its recent report, International Energy Agency said, "Reaching the (50 percent target) will require careful policy guidance, effective markets and strong measures for renewables and energy efficiency."
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