Infotech Power cuts this winter: the government’s plan

Power cuts this winter: the government’s plan

The government is slowly preparing people’s minds for power cuts this winter. Indeed, the latter will send a circular to the prefects to anticipate and prepare their departments for possible scheduled power cuts, which could affect 60% of the population but no critical site or priority customer, AFP told Wednesday 30 November a government source. The subject was even raised on Tuesday by the Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers.

RTE: “To avoid possible cuts, we need a national mobilization”

Because last week, RTE alerted again of a risk ” raised “ voltages on the electrical network. The electricity transmission network manager notably pointed to a slower-than-expected restart of shutdown EDF nuclear reactors, but also to the risk of the arrival of a cold snap.

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• Are these cuts certain?

No, according to the government spokesman who attempted to demine this Thursday 1er December, an ultra-sensitive subject. “We are not announcing to the French that there will be cuts”, assured Olivier Véran, at the microphone of BFMTV. He reminded “that the month of December should not be colder than the others” and that the cuts will certainly not take place this month.

However, “in January, we don’t yet know what the state of winter will be”. In particularly cold winters “and therefore particularly energy-intensive”the difficulties experienced by nuclear power plants could require occasional cuts.

Namely that these cuts will only occur when all the other solutions have been insufficient to relieve the network. “We would only cut if the cold is confirmed, that we have a production or interconnection problem [avec les pays voisins] and if consumption does not drop”a government source told AFP.

• How will they be organized?

An alert via a red EcoWatt signal will be issued three days before. It will then make it possible to know one day in advance which departments are affected by the cuts, then at 5 p.m. the day before which households are subject to them (by entering their address on an Enedis and RTE website). “The idea is that no one is surprised”underlines the government source of AFP.

• What will be the niches of these cuts?

They will only take place at times of peak consumption, between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the morning, and between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the evening.

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• How long will they last?

The cuts will not last more than two consecutive hours.

• Everyone could be concerned?

Yes, but. In practice, part of the population will never be offloaded because it has priority, or connected by chance to a priority line, “what concerns 40% of people”according to the government.

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In the words of the government, load shedding will be distributed throughout the territory according to “a configuration in leopard skin”. There will be no entire department offloaded, but only minority parts of the territory and never the same people twice and none of the approximately 3,800 high-risk patients dependent on home medical equipment connected to the mains.

Only one exception: Corsica. The Isle of Beauty being connected to the Italian electricity network, it will not be affected by load shedding, ensures Playbook.

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• Will schools be affected by the cuts?

Yes, like any type of non-priority establishment. In this case, they will remain closed, for security reasons. These closures will only take place in the morning since during the evening consumption peaks, the establishments have already closed their doors.

• And the hospitals?

“Critical sites that affect the continuity of the life of the nation” will not be affected, indicates the government to the “Parisian”. This also concerns fire stations, police stations, police stations and even hospitals.

• Will we be able to use our cell phone during power cuts?

Cell towers are not battery operated. In the event of power cuts, those in the offloaded area will therefore also be affected… And the telephones they supply will be cut off.

However, the government explained that resource antennas (powered for a short period) will be activated throughout the territory in order to ensure priority calls for help. The 112, emergency number, should therefore continue to operate.

• What about traffic lights?

During the two hours of blackout, traffic may be limited by the prefects. The complexity of the electrical networks does not in fact make it possible to assert that the cuts will not have an impact on the traffic lights.

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