French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has said that rolling power cuts are “possible” this winter for companies.
Asked by France Inter about the energy shortages caused by the Russian gas cuts and by the unavailability of several of France’s nuclear power plants, Borne on Thursday added that these power cuts will concern companies only.
“I confirm that even if the winter is cold and we face supply problems, there could be restrictions but not on households. There will be no gas cuts for households,” she stressed.
“There may be cuts on large gas consumers,” Borne said, adding that discussions are currently underway with companies to assess the potential consequences of gas cuts.
However, she noted that a mechanism of right to consume would allow companies to exchange their cuts, Xinhua news agency reported.
“The company that it looks like we’re going to cut off could agree with a company for which it would be less serious,” she said.
Earlier this week, Borne told French broadcaster TMC that “there may be times when, if it is very cold, there may be a problem with the supply for individuals”.
If such a situation would arise, energy suppliers could make “rotating load shedding,” she said.
She also revealed that “from the beginning of 2023, a rise in prices also seems inevitable for households”.
France’s Minister for Energy Transition, Agnes Pannier-Runacher announced earlier in August that the country’s gas reserves were 80 per cent full in preparation for possible shortages this winter.
She said that France was ahead of its goals, and the country’s strategic gas reserves would be 100 per cent filled by November 1.
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a Defence Council meeting to discuss the country’s energy plan for the winter.