Home Politics The government was threatened with power outages in winter

The government was threatened with power outages in winter

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A little over six months had passed since Elizabeth Bourne had arrived at Matignon. It’s little more than six months since the former prefect, who was called on to manage the climate emergency as well as tensions over energy prices amid the war in Ukraine, is taking stock of why the prime minister’s residence is nicknamed “hell”. “. “I read only positive comments! », he said jokingly. The last of the Electricity Transmission Network (RTE) is far from it. Posted on Friday, November 18, it was still read by Matignon’s tenant and his teams.

Presenting a power system outlook for the fall and winter of 2022-2023, the text brings to life a scenario described as “nightmare” Within the government, a possible power outage. According to RTE, there is now a risk “elevated” Stress on the French electricity grid in January 2023 due to slower than expected restart of EDF nuclear reactors. “Imagine France, the sixth power in the world, whose nuclear industry flagships have been praised for half a century! »We breathe in Bersi.

The threat placed on the agenda of the meeting of forty-one ministers at Matignon the day before, which yesterday was considered highly improbable, is therefore being taken seriously, even if some communicators are surprised: until now, the instruction has been to panic the French. “Our job is not to think, but to prepare.” We open the Prime Minister’s office.

“Our fear is a very harsh winter”

To anticipate the worst, an interagency crisis unit (CIC), known as standby, has been in place for a month. Housed in the cellars of the Ministry of the Interior, chaired by the Director of the Prime Minister’s Office Aurélien Rousseau and presided over by Prefect Anne Clerk, it brings together representatives of various ministries once or twice a week, as well as RTE managers. and Enedis. The challenge: to target the risks and consequences of this possible reduction, called modesty “Reducing the rotating load”.

Specifically, electricity will be cut for two hours in certain geographic areas in order to unload the grid. The load shedding is said to be cyclical, as the “blackout” does not always affect the same areas. Hospitals or prisons are initially excluded from this reduction. “We are currently working to keep the cores of the network powered, what we used to call telephone exchanges in the past, to keep emergency calls going.”The representative of the government emphasizes.

Source: Le Monde

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