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French PM warns of potential winter power cuts in homes

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PARIS (AP) — France’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne warned {that a} worst-case state of affairs this winter might result in rolling two-hour energy cuts in French properties, amid a broad vitality disaster aggravated by the battle in Ukraine.

Borne’s feedback to the TMC tv channel Tuesday night time got here forward of a particular authorities assembly Wednesday specializing in vitality and climate-related points.

Borne informed TMC that the state of affairs is partly because of the consequences of the war in Ukraine and likewise to the deliberate shutdown of about half of France’s 56 nuclear reactors for upkeep notably to restore corrosion issues. France depends on nuclear vitality for about 67% of its electrical energy — greater than some other nation — and on fuel for about 7%.

“It implies that we’re producing much less electrical energy, and there could also be moments, if it’s very chilly, the place we are able to have an issue to produce electrical energy,” Borne mentioned. “In such case … we’d minimize off, by way of rotations, neighborhood by neighborhood, for not more than two hours,” she mentioned.

Nonetheless, Borne be sure that fuel wouldn’t be minimize off in French properties, as individuals use it principally for heating.

Fuel might doubtlessly be rationed for companies that are the biggest customers, she mentioned.

She defined such choice can be prompted by a mixture of unhealthy circumstances, together with Russia slicing off its fuel provides, restrictions of liquified pure fuel imports and a really chilly winter.

Russia’s state-controlled vitality firm Gazprom mentioned it could droop all fuel deliveries to the French firm Engie, ranging from Thursday, over a monetary dispute. Engie mentioned it has already secured sufficient fuel to satisfy its commitments to clients.

French minister for vitality transition, Agnes Pannier-Runacher, mentioned Tuesday the nation’s strategic vitality reserves have been 90% full. France rolled out an “vitality sobriety” plan in June, concentrating on a ten% discount in vitality use by 2024.

As well as, Gazprom stopped the flow of natural gas through a major pipeline from Russia to Europe early Wednesday, a short lived transfer to it introduced prematurely. Gazprom had deliberate to chop the circulate of fuel via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline till Saturday for what it says is a three-day pause for routine upkeep at a compressor station.

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