France restarts coal-fired power plants to boost winter power supply

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France has restarted a coal-fired power plant in Saint-Avold in eastern France. The power plant was due to be completely shut down in March.

The government said the temporary measure would ensure the country’s electricity supply during the winter, a sector struggling to keep up with demand due to the conflict in Ukraine and maintenance problems at some nuclear power plants. said.

To counter this, the government has chosen the option of restarting the Emile Huchet power plant in Saint-Avold in eastern France until March 2023.

Site director Philippe Langlart told reporters that nearly 70 workers had been recalled to ensure the smooth functioning of the factory. gazelle energy.

In total, over 500,000 tons of coal will be required to operate the site by the end of March 2023.

in full operation, station It will generate up to 600 megawatt hours and power approximately 600,000 homes in the Grand-Est region.

Transitional measures

Emile Huchet power station, one of France’s last coal power plants, will completely close its doors at the end of March as part of an effort by the government to cut carbon emissions by moving away from fossil fuels. It was supposed to be.

The government insists that the reopening of factories is a transitional measure and that President Emmanuel Macron’s commitment to the environment is out of the question.

President Macron had promised to close the last four coal-fired power plants in the country during his first term.

Cordemé (Western) is the only other coal-fired power plant in France still in operation.

In 2020, 0.3% of the fuel used for power generation was coal and 6.9% was gas.

Card network load

About 70% of France’s electricity demand is supplied by public power companies. EDF We operate 56 nuclear reactors.

However, about 20 units have been offline for months due to concerns over microcracks found in emergency cooling systems.

Officials worry that EDF will have to buy more electricity on the European electricity market if it doesn’t have enough capacity as the weather cools. Ukraine drag.

The company has deployed hundreds of workers to keep the reactors running, but there are growing doubts whether it will be able to bring enough of them back online before the winter settles.

Last week, utility RTE warned that there was a “high risk” of network strain from plant outages. This can force businesses and homes to limit usage to avoid a complete blackout.

Macron is also calling for the construction of at least six next-generation nuclear power plants to reduce France’s dependence on energy imports. This could prove attractive to other European countries looking to reduce their dependence on coal and natural gas. France restarts coal-fired power plants to boost winter power supply

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