France to burn more coal this winter – Bloomberg
France has extended permission for power generating companies to burn more coal in the coming months in order to prevent shortages this winter, Bloomberg has reported.
The move comes as the output of utility major Electricite de France (EDF), which provides over half of France’s electricity, will reportedly remain below historical levels this winter due to problems with its fleet of nuclear reactors affected by stress corrosion, the outlet said.
“Tension on the power system is currently lower than at the same period of last year,” the French Ecological Transition Ministry said, referring to the prospects of wind and solar 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,” it added, noting the possibility that the conflict in Ukraine may not be over by winter or that the winter itself will be “very tough.”
At the same time, the French government has tightened requirements for the operation of the country’s two remaining coal-fired power plants. Electricity producers will only be allowed to operate for up to 1,800 hours in the coming winter, or about 11 weeks, down from 2,500 hours last winter, according to the ministry.
Under a government decree, coal-powered plants will have to pay more per ton of carbon dioxide released.
Power prices in the EU soared last year following the bloc’s decision to abandon Russian energy as part of its sanctions policy. France, which was once a power exporter to the EU, had to rely heavily on electricity imports from neighboring countries last winter. Many of its nuclear power plants, which accounted for 70% of the country’s electricity output, have been offline for maintenance.
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