MARCH 24, 2021tags: france
By Paul Homewood
Since yesterday, the UK has been importing up to nearly 3GW of power via the French interconnectors. The question is though, where does the electricity come from?
Last month, for instance, gas, coal and biomass averaged 4.2GW, about 9% of France’s generation:
Without UK demand, it is not unreasonable to suppose that gas generation would have been much lower. After all, you don’t turn down wind or nuclear power just like that. Moreover, according to the Gridwatch website, gas generation in France did not fall below 2.6GW last month. (There were times as well when the UK was supplying France). Even in the early hours of the morning, when the interconnector is quiet, gas was still producing at 6GW yesterday:
It makes a nonsense of official claims that any electricity imported is low carbon.
Of course, the European power market is a complex one, with France both importing and exporting. France, for instance, both exports power to and imports from Germany, in order to balance fluctuations in wind and solar power there. Italy imports about a tenth of its electricity from France, to function alongside its predominantly gas grid. Switzerland also relies somewhat on French power.
Spain also imports from and exports to France to balance its renewable output.
All of these other countries are heavily dependent on French nuclear power, which is effectively holding the grid together. Which raises the question, what will they do when France begins shutting down its nuclear plants as planned?