France prepares for 'probable' Russian gas cut | War in Ukraine

France is preparing for a “likely” Russian gas cut | War in Ukraine

Russian gas is very present in the daily activities of Europeans.

The French government called on Sunday to “quickly put itself in battle order” to face the coronavirus crisis. possibility of a total cut in Russian gas supplies, according to Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Let's prepare for the total cut off of Russian gas, today it is the most likely option. That supposes that we accelerate our energy independence, pleaded during the Economic Meetings of Aix-en-Provence the number 2 of the French government, which wants to take advantage of the summer to put itself in battle order before the x27;winter.

In terms of supply, there may be tensions over gas this winter, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne had warned on Saturday during a meeting with the press.

To avoid shortages, the government has requested that national gas storage capacities be filled to almost 100% by the beginning of autumn.

On electricity, normally, according to EDF's projections, we should have higher production as the twelve reactors (out of 56) currently shut down for corrosion will restart, indicated Ms. Borne.

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne

But if electricity runs out, the government prepares for winter a series of measures intended to prioritize households and certain industries.

Obviously we are preserving households and […] we are not cutting factories or public transport, detailed Ms. Borne Saturday.

“We have to put ourselves in battle order now on organization, load shedding, sobriety, reduction of consumption… it's now that we have to make the decisions. »

— Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Economy

In the country, with the second largest nuclear fleet in the world in terms of power, gas represents nearly 20% of its energy mix, and in 2020 accounted for less than 7% of its electricity production, according to figures from the government.

Before the war in Ukraine, France relied on Russia for around 17% of its gas.

Some industrial sites could being asked to slow down their energy consumption, or even to stop their energy consumption for a certain period of time, explained Mr. Le Maire, while specifying that it is completely impossible for some sites, so as not to break the industrial tool.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire

France, which claims to be in a more favorable situation than its neighbours, must in particular acquire a new floating LNG terminal from next year to ensure its supply.

We must distribute the effort between administrations, individuals and companies, explained Bruno Le Maire.

The government has also launched three working groups to improve sobriety energy in the administration, businesses and establishments open to the public. The goal is to establish a roadmap to reduce energy consumption by 10% within two years compared to 2019.

“It is a matter of several months, but [it] must also lead us to take a number of decisions of investment and show imagination. France is extraordinarily imaginative, creative when it comes to energy. »

— Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Economy

The risk of energy shortages does not stop elsewhere not at the French borders, as the President of the European Commission called on the 27 Member States of the European Union on Wednesday to prepare for further disruptions in the supply of gas, or even a complete cut on the part of Russia.

Germany, much more dependent on Russian gas than France, is already on the alert. The Bundestag has adopted a savings plan: no more heating above 20 degrees in winter and more hot water in individual offices, for example.

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