Gas, electricity… The “worst case scenario” to prepare for this winter


The objective is simple to understand: it is to avoid the blackout. The risk, informs Le Parisien, is not neglected by the executive who has been actively considering it for several days. A winter that is too cold, that is to say likely to bring temperatures permanently below 0°C, could be enough to cause such a phenomenon. The energy resources of the country, in the current state of things, would not meet the needs of French men and women in this type of scenario.

Emmanuel Macron, supported in particular by Elisabeth Borne and Agnès Pannier-Runacher (the Minister of Energy Transition), is working on various devices designed to limit the risk. Some of these might not be very appealing to individuals, while others should put businesses to work. The problems are multiple: they concern both the supply of gas and electricity.

The first component considered by the executive is, obviously, the least coercive. It consists of encouraging everyone to use common sense and not waste energy. It is the famous “end of abundance” that the President of the Republic was able to evoke. This concerns both individuals and businesses. “You have to start saving energy everywhere, all the time right away. By small daily gestures at home, in shops, companies and of course in the administrations”, insisted Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, on the occasion of his meeting with the entrepreneurs of France, held at Medef.

“We must prepare for the worst-case scenario which is a total interruption of deliveries,” said Agnès Pannier-Runacher recently, at the microphone of France Inter. The Minister for Energy Transition then spoke of the French energy supply, via Russia. And she continues: “If we organize ourselves to lower our electricity and gas consumption, we will be able to get through the winter better, even if the temperature is colder than expected”.

That being said, such solutions might not be enough. To deal with the worst, tougher measures are being considered. “If our sobriety plan is not kept and if we empty the stocks more quickly, it will take an additional effort on the part of the companies”, explains a “government source” interviewed by Le Parisien. “Beyond a certain threshold, calculated from the consumption of previous years for example, companies could be overcharged”, she further indicates.

The last solution envisaged by the government is also, and by far, the most brutal of all those that could be applied. This last resort would consist in organizing cuts targeted at certain public administrations deemed non-essential… but also at certain individuals.

“That means rolling cuts, by department, explains another source. Half an hour but not more than two hours, to preserve the freezers. Hospitals and all strategic sites would be exempt. This is the extreme scenario. Before getting there, there is a series of intermediate measures”, continues the source interviewed by the Ile-de-France daily.