France extended a plan that allows electricity producers to burn more coal this winter in order to prevent potential power shortages, but tightened the conditions on when the country’s two coal-fired power plants operate.
(Bloomberg) — France extended a plan that allows electricity producers to burn more coal this winter in order to prevent potential power shortages, but tightened the conditions on when the country’s two coal-fired power plants operate.
The measure comes as Electricite de France SA’s nuclear output — which provides more than half the country’s power — is expected to remain below historical levels during the coldest months of the year as it continues to fix faulty pipes at some reactors. France loosened limits for coal-fired plant emissions at the start of 2022.
Read more: French Power Price Falls as RTE Reassures About Nuclear Resilience
Electricity generators that emit a lot of carbon dioxide such as coal plants will be allowed to operate for up to 1,800 hours this winter, or almost 11 weeks, down from a maximum of 2,500 hours last winter, the Energy Transition Ministry said Thursday. The plants will have to pay more per ton of carbon dioxide released, according to a government decree.
“Tension on the power system is currently lower than at the same period of last year,” the ministry said, citing better prospects for nuclear and renewable output and a drop in energy consumption. “However, one must take all measures to ensure security of energy supply for the French in any event,” such as a the continuation of the war in Ukraine or a “very tough” winter.
While fears of blackouts that emerged after Russia pared natural gas deliveries to Europe last year have largely receded, governments across the continent are pursuing energy-savings measures to limit bills for consumers.
Coal-fired power stations accounted for just 0.6% of electricity generation in France last year.
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