France is preparing for a possible shutdown of Russian supplies

Not surprisingly, this Friday, April 8th, a decree was published in the Official Journal allowing the organization of load shedding. These are temporary and planned reductions or cuts in natural gas consumption by specific consumers. The government and the gas distribution network GRDF announced last week that they are preparing for this eventuality. It is “a device of last resort”, underlined the Ministry for Ecological Transition at the time.

Only the largest consumers using more than 5 gigawatt hours per year are affected by these measures. According to the government, they are one of them “about 5,000”. These are, as described in a press release by GRTgaz, the main gas transport company in France, gas-combined power plants of more than 150 MWe, large industrial sites (chemical, refineries, petrochemical, glass manufacturers, etc.) and large service buildings such as shopping malls, event halls, stadiums etc.

The other gas consumers consuming less than 5 GWh (collective dwellings, individual dwellings, tertiary sector, shops, small industrialists, etc.) would be the last to be affected.

Baltic states stop importing Russian gas

Reductions of up to two hours

If necessary, these cuts will be made according to an order of priority to avoid penalizing consumers, who could suffer serious economic consequences in the event of a gas failure, and sites that perform functions of general interest (schools, hospitals, pensions, etc.). . . They must be completed within a maximum of two hours.

According to the regulation, large consumers receive a survey from the gas manager, asking them for several pieces of information such as their activity or their use “the economic consequences they would suffer if they reduced or stopped their gas consumption”, as well as a contact option to send them a load shedding order at any time. You must respond within a maximum of two months, otherwise you may be fined.

As a GRTgaz reminder: “This new device will not be activated until all other available means of ensuring continuity of supply have been exhausted.”

Namely, the incentive to reduce gas consumption, the use of stocks, the interruption of supply for certain industrial customers who have committed to reduce their consumption if necessary in exchange for financial compensation (interruption contracts). 71 sites have thus signed such contracts, representing a demand response potential of around 45 GWh/day or 5% of their consumption.

The use of load shedding is also planned as a last resort in power consumption to avoid a general and uncontrolled blackout when the consumption exceeds the currently available power level. If it is no longer sufficient to stop the supply of the largest electricity consumers, it is possible to organize rotating shutdowns in around 200,000 households simultaneously for 2 hours.

Payment for Russian gas in rubles: There would be no interruption in supply, says Barbara Pompili

The decisive topic for next winter

For now, a pause in Russian supplies “wouldn’t have any consequences because we’re at the end of winter”, GRDF CEO Laurence Poirier-Dietz told AFP last week. On the other hand, “The question will arise after the storage is filled, what happens in the summer”, she remembered.

An opinion shared by the president of the energy company Engie, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu. “The impact on the European economy, not over the next few months but over the coming winter, would be a very significant impact,” he said on Thursday April 7th. In fact, gas reserves will be essential this year to prepare for what promises to be a difficult winter.

A Russian gas embargo? The impact on the European economy would be “massive”, warns Clamadieu (Engie)

As a reminder, in 2020 the EU received 400 billion cubic meters of gas. About 152 billion cubic meters came from Russia, almost 40% of the imports. For France, imports of Russian gas accounted for 20% of its total imports. However, due to the weight of nuclear power in France, it only accounted for 1.2% of its energy mix.

GRTZgaz wants to calm down for now. “In the event of a supply stop from Russia, the simulations carried out show that France would be less affected than its European neighbors. In such a situation, however, it should be prepared for consumption reductions, especially in the event of a cold winter or a cold snap in winter.”

Payment for Russian gas in rubles? In retaliation, Brussels is considering new sanctions against Russia

No embargo for gas, but for coal

For the president of Engie, an embargo on Russian gas across Europe would have repercussions ” Celebration “ on the European economy and would affect industry in particular. The Twenty-Seven could offset half of Russia’s imports from other sources, but for the rest it would mean deprivation for both individuals and companies.

A strategy that the EU has not chosen at the moment. On the other hand, on Thursday, April 7, countries decided to embargo Russian coal and close European ports to Russian ships as part of a fifth round of sanctions against Moscow. The “very extensive” sanctions package also envisages a ban on exports to Russia, especially high-tech goods, of up to 10 billion euros and the freezing of the assets of several Russian banks.

Coal embargo: EU hits Russian energy sector for the first time

This is the first time Europeans have met the Russian energy sector, on which they are very dependent, especially for gas. The EU imports 45% of its coal from Russia, worth €4 billion a year. This embargo will come into effect in early August, 120 days after the new package is expected to be published in the EU Official Journal on Friday.

The list of Russian products banned from importing into the EU will also be expanded to include certain ones “Raw Materials and Critical Materials” for an estimated €5.5 billion a year to stop funding Moscow’s war effort. The EU is also tightening the arms embargo adopted in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.

Ukraine: Why the European embargo on Russian coal won’t be enough to make Putin cave in

(With AFP)