On November 29, the government announced the details of any power cuts that may occur over the winter. Businesses will not be spared these scheduled power cuts, known as load shedding. What can they expect?
2-hour rotating load shedding
The aim of load shedding is toavoid a general power cut, or blackout, which would paralyze the country. They will alleviate tensions on the power grid, and will concern defined areas within a département, so as not to disrupt the entire territory.
In concrete terms, for a maximum of 2 hours, an average of 2,000 customers connected to the same power line will be without power. All businesses supplied by this line will also be affected. At the end of the 2-hour period, power will be restored to these 2,000 customers, while a further 2,000 will in turn be cut off.
If implemented, these rotating load shedding operations will take place during peak consumption periods, when tension on the grid is at its highest. Businesses could therefore have to operate without electricity during the following time slots: 8am-1pm, and 6pm-8pm, on weekdays only.
These power cuts are worrying businesses, which are likely to face a number of difficulties. How, under these conditions, can the cold chain be maintained in the food processing and distribution industries? How can we avoid delivery delays due to production line stoppages in factories? The government is expected to provide further details in the coming weeks.
An initial warning 3 days before a possible power cut
Companies will be informed in advance in the event of load shedding. Initially, the French Ministry of Ecological Transition and RTE will inform companies of any possible risk of power cuts 3 days before they are implemented, in the event of tension on the network.
If the situation does not improve, Enedis and RTE will announce confirmation of the power cuts at 7.30pm the previous day. 2 hours later, at 9:30pm, the map of affected departments will be published in a press release. Finally, on the day of the power cut, alerts will be issued by the Ecowatt application and the media, as well as by La Poste, major electricity distributors, certain supermarkets and real estate agencies.
Businesses are therefore well advised to download the Ecowatt application to monitor the status of the power grid in real time. When the signal is green, the electrical system is operating normally. At this stage, there's no risk of a power cut, but eco-actions are welcome. When the signal is red, the voltage on the network is very high, and power cuts are inevitable if electricity consumption is not reduced.
The government is calling on companies to continue their efforts to reduce consumption. There are several possibilities, already implemented by many companies, such as reducing heating by 1 to 2 degrees, reducing interior lighting, encouraging telecommuting or limiting consumption in unoccupied premises at the end of the day.
@XPiechaczyk, Chairman of the Executive Board of Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE): "We need to be more serene: it's normal to prepare, but blackouts are avoidable" #le7930inter pic.twitter.com/QpFNwsZjWt- France Inter (@franceinter) December 5, 2022