PARIS (Reuters) - France has enough generation capacity to cover its electricity demand during the summer and will remain a net exporter thanks to its nuclear reactors and an expected record solar power output, grid operator RTE said in its outlook on Wednesday.
RTE said France would have around 75,000 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity available during the period, while peak electricity demand is seen at 55,000 MW, or up to 60,000 MW in the case of a heat wave.
Power consumption could fall as low as 30,000 MW around August 15, during the summer holiday, RTE said.
“With the growth of wind and solar farms, which have added 1,600 MW and 1,000 MW since last June, new records for renewable energy production, particularly solar, are expected this summer,” RTE said, adding that renewable energies would cover French power consumption well above the 22.7% average in 2018.
It said renewables could regularly cover over 25% of French electricity needs during the summer.
In the event of a prolonged heat wave, several nuclear power plants may have to reduce their output to comply with environmental regulations on water used to cool the reactors, RTE said, adding that nuclear power generation could be reduced by up to 6,000 MW.
Atomic power from 58 reactors operated by state-controlled utility EDF, accounts for over 75 percent of French electricity needs.
Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Geert De Clercq