EDF presents solutions to avoid blackouts this winter 2022!

France is on high alert ! The risk of power outages has never been as high as it is today for the winter of 2022 – 2023 what is looming. In order to limit or even avoid the risk, the operator of the electricity transmission system proposes RTE the Ecowatt device. The latter also demands sobriety in terms of power consumption.

“Sobriety”, that’s the word on everyone’s lips at the moment in view of the energy crisis in France. Finding the balance between superfluous consumption and the satisfaction of needs is the most important lever for achieving a low-energy society. Another goal is to avoid power outages. However, Marc Benayoun, Executive Director of EDF, estimated that at the power level ” very strong chance » that France survives the winter without incident.

Avoid power outages

In the current context, France’s energy transition is one of the government’s top priorities. France needs to break its dependency on fossil fuels and reduce its energy consumption by 40% by 2050.

“Sobriety Is Here To Settle”alarmed the government by unveiling its winter energy saving plan on Thursday 6 October. From public services to businesses, including sports and housing, dozens of actions are planned to tackle the problem.

This is how the Ecowatt system was approved by RTE and the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME). It warns consumers when power consumption is too high to encourage “eco-gestures” and avoid blackouts. The winter of 2022 promises to be tense on this issue.

Attention ! In terms of electricity Vigilance begins in the fall and lasts for several months. ” If the electrical system is heavily used, the risk of cut injuries cannot be completely ruled out. But it could be avoided. By reducing national consumption by 1 to 5% in most cases. And up to 15% in the most extreme weather situations.” explained the manager of the electricity transmission network.

However, Xavier Piechaczyk, CEO of RTE, judges that ” We can eliminate a lot of the risks if we’re very proactive about sobrietyas well as mobilization around the red Ecowatt signal during peak consumption”.

The ecowatt device

Specifically, the Ecowatt device shows whether it exists a voltage risk in the French electricity grid. That is, the consumption is greater than the available electricity, in real time, but also over the next three days.

“Each of us has the power to reduce electricity consumption in France through simple actions. With Ecowatt, you can identify the moments when eco-gestures have the greatest impact on the electrical system. By relocating certain uses, you help to ensure the power supply for everyone in times of supply bottlenecks. Let’s take the right steps! » rightly explained the website of the Ecowatt system. This page also gives valuable advice to prevent the French from often groping in the dark.

Marc Benayoun, Executive Director of EDF and responsible for Customers, Services and Territories, took part in a round table on energy security in the Senate this Wednesday. Also present were Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, and Catherine MacGregor, CEO of Engie.

Voluntary Disconnections and Power Outages

France has a potential for voluntary power cuts (curtailment) of 5 to 6 gigawatts (GW), which could help avoid blackouts this winter‘ said Marc Benayoun, before the Senate Economic Committee.

The country risks having to reduce its power consumption in the coming winter in order to avoid targeted blackouts at increased voltages to ensure security of supply.RTE warned in mid-September.

“If we are certain of very cold temperatures, with a power demand of 90 GW at peak times… 5-6 GW can be 5-6% power. And that can help avoid load shedding in these times,” said Marc Benayoun. “There hasn’t been a blackout in France since 1978. And even if we are in a very difficult situation, it still exists very good chances that we will get through the winter without shedding loads” , he added.

And as a reminder to the Managing Director: “ If the gas supplies are normally filled and things are looking good, you should know that the trigger temperatures, which put the electrical system (…) at risk, are still around -4°C for several days. Last year we had such a cold spell. Luckily it was between Christmas and New Years. At a time when consumption was low and therefore there were no problems”;


The “erasures” that Marc Benayoun conjures up are voluntary breaks in consumption. They are based on remuneration systems and price incentives.

Marc Benayoun also noted that EDF is targeting an increase in demand-response capacity of around 1 GW. And that within its own customer portfolio, which today totals around 2 GW.

This senior EDF executive also pointed out that a large number of customers, after several years of turning to competitors, returned to EDF against the backdrop of rising prices.

Many customers return in all segments. Alternative providers are not doing very well – apart from the really big ones, of course (.). We will end 2022 with a higher market share than at the beginning of the year. And it’s been a long time since that happenedsaid Marc Benayoun.

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