The atmosphere becomes electric between EDF and alternative suppliers. Friday, the electrician public said the timing of the shutdown of five reactors, for which the safety Authority has requested the checks because of rate of carbon is excessive in certain parts (” Les Echos ” from October 19). The shutdown of each reactor, for three weeks, will extend until mid-January. EDF hopes to be able then to restart, just as, by then, the other seven arrested in recent months for similar reasons.
But the electrician took the opportunity on Friday to ask the government, to the general surprise, the suspension of the Access mechanism down-regulated the nuclear power history (Arenh). This device requires EDF, in order to counterbalance its monopoly on nuclear production, to sell to its competitors, which want up to 100 terawatt-hours of electricity per year (about a quarter of its nuclear production), at a price regulated (42 euros per megawatt-hours).
” exceptional Circumstances “
To justify its request, EDF points to the ” effect “ of the judgments of reactors ” on the wholesale market of electricity and the effects that hedge the resulting “. The energy code provides that in the case of ” exceptional circumstances “ affecting nuclear power plants, the ministers of Energy and Economy could suspend the Arenh.
Since mid-September, the market price, for delivery next year, rose to nearly a third, from less than 32 euros per megawatt hour to a little more… 42 euros on Friday. EDF considers that some suppliers might therefore ask him, in mid-November during a “window Arenh” organized twice a year, volumes of electricity at prices regulated. And that these same competitors could resell them if the market prices continue to appreciate, or loses if prices fall.
While the Commission of energy regulation was observing the discussion without taking a position on Friday, the competitors of EDF and large buyers of electricity are offended with the demands of the electrician public. Fabien Choné, general manager of Direct Energy, peak, first, that only the four reactors at 58 are provided for unavailable by EDF from mid-January. A situation ” difficult but not critical “, note also Frank Roubanovitch, which federates within the Cleee of the large buyers of electricity. the ” most of The major consumers of electricity are already covered for the next year, but a few are stunned when they see the increase of the market prices and are planning therefore to take the Arenh. It is inappropriate to add to the uncertainty, while there are already a lot of other “ critical-t-there too.
On the bottom, it is this central point that denies EDF, for several years : the possibility given by the law to its competitors to buy energy at a price regulated when the market prices go up, and fall back on them when they pass under the level of the Arenh, as has been the case since the beginning of the year. EDF is annoying to have to then sell his production at knockdown prices on the market, so that he already feels is too low the level of the Arenh. A vision that is shared, obviously, not its competitors. the ” The price of the Arenh is already well above the cost of production of EDF, in particular because it incorporates the costs of rejuvenation of the nuclear fleet “, peak Fabien Choné.
This episode adds yet more confusion to a sector that is no shortage. Two months before its entry into force, the project of creation of a floor price for carbon in electricity generation has just been officially abandoned by the government. And it works the new rules of the market mechanism supposed to ensure security of supply to the 1stJanuary (” Les Echos ” from October 11). In the meantime, the manager of the electricity transmission Network, RTE, continues to gather data to present his scenario of ” passing the winter “, in the first days of November.