Power consumption expected to drop by 2021
For the first time ever, the forecast drawn up by RTE in 2016 predicts an 8-TWh drop in France’s annual power consumption by 2021 (tantamount to the power used in Haute-Garonne), due to energy efficiency measures. The economic context of the fossil-fired sector (gas and coal-fired power plants) will have an effect on France’s security of supply over the period of 2016-2021.
With demand predicted to fall from 479 TWh in 2015 to 471 TWh in 2021 (-1.5%), energy efficiency measures – especially those taken by households and the tertiary sector – have brought about a drop in France’s power consumption for the first time ever despite the soaring number of new applications and a healthier economy. Over this period, demand peaks will show a similar trend, dropping from a predicted 101 100 MW during the winter of 2016/2017 to 100 000 MW in the winter of 2020/2021 in the event of a ten-yearly cold spell.
Over the period of 2016-2021, France’s security of supply will be influenced by conditions associated with the French capacity mechanism and by the debate over the price of each ton of CO2 emissions. Some generators are waiting until the prospects of the fossil-fired sector become clearer before determining the future of their gas and coal-fired plants. The 2016 forecast highlights two scenarios (high fossil-fired capacity and greatly reduced fossil-fired capacity), generating a range of more than 5 000 MW on the margins of the French electrical power system.
As of winter 2020-2021, security margins will be maintained by new interconnections with Italy and the UK, as well as maximum use of the EPR and offshore wind turbines.
By 2021, renewable capacity will reach about 55 000 MW (including 17 000 MW of wind power and 10 000 MW of solar power).