electricity production “under tension” in the face of the heat wave – Liberation

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For the French power plants, the high temperatures, associated in particular with the war in Ukraine, produce complicated production, use the capacities. Faced with increasing consumption, it seems essential to make the energy mix more varied.

Electricity production, already strained by the shutdown of many nuclear reactors and the war in Ukraine, is also suffering from the extreme temperatures that have hit France in recent days. Operating exemptions for nuclear power plants, lack of water for hydroelectric production, reduction in production of gas-fired power plants… The heat wave has significant effects on electricity supply.

“All sources of electricity generation are sensitive to weather conditions, emphasizes Thibault Laconde, engineer specializing in climate risks and founder of Callendar. This is obvious for wind power but it is also the case in a less intuitive way for fossil energy and nuclear energy. Indeed, when the weather is out of the normal, the equipment has to deal with unanticipated situations, which poses production and distribution problems. Even the electricity consumption is modified.

On the nuclear side first, the low availability of reactors limits production: 30 reactors are shut down for maintenance out of the 56 in the French fleet. And the heat wave pushes the authorities to run the power plants still in operation only“at a minimum power level”

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