home Demand, U French nuclear output in August sees biggest monthly gain in 2017

French nuclear output in August sees biggest monthly gain in 2017

French power output from nuclear plants registered its biggest monthly gain so far this year, up 6% from August last year, reducing its deficit so far this year to just 2% with nuclear operator EDF maintaining its target of on year production gains for 2017, an analysis of monthly production data from French TSO RTE shows.

  • Output up 6% on year at 28.5 TWh, but YTD still trails 2016 by 2%
  • Hydro output down 12% on year at 3.1 TWh, YTD trails 2016 by 21%
  • Demand flat on year in August at 32 TWh, Jan-Aug 2017 flat at 313 TWh

Nuclear output this August was 28.5 TWh, up 1.5 TWh from last year’s level, with output so far this year trailing 2016 at this stage by over 6 TWh or 2.4%, the data showed.

Hydro production in August was 3.1 TWh, down 12% or 0.4 TWh compared to August 2016 with hydro output now trailing last year’s production by 9 TWh or over 20% after eight months.

The nuclear gains in August have reduced the combined declines from nuclear and hydro so far this year to under 16 TWh for the first eight months of 2017, compared with 2016, with France’s two biggest sources of power generating a combined 287.6 TWh so far this year.

Domestic demand in August traditionally reached its lowest level, flat on the year at 32 TWh, with total demand so far in 2017 also flat at 313 TWh, the data showed, with nuclear and renewables accounting for over 99% of French power demand.

There was little change for wind, solar or bioamss in August with 1 TWh of solar and 1.2 TWh of wind adding to the total 23 TWh for the year so far, the data showed.

Within the fossil-fuel generation stack, gas output was down 9% on the year at 1.6 TWh, while the remaining five coal plants generated only 0.2 TWh in August, which often sees plant closures, but was still up 44% on year.

EXPORTS RISE

As a result of the nuclear gains, France’s net export/import balance was up 37% on the year at 4.8 TWh with the combined surplus of almost 34 TWh now trailing last year by only 3 TWh, the data showed.

Over the past six months — excluding the winter months when the French nuclear fleet was hit by additional outages — French exports are actually some 10% ahead of last year’s level.

On a country-by-country level, flows into Italy dropped amid traditional summer maintenance on Alpine power links, while flows to Spain rose to 1.7 TWh and flows into the UK were flat at 1.4 TWh in August.

Overall, net flows into Italy, Spain and the UK from France have averaged over 6 GW each hour over the past six months, the data showed.

Source: Electric Power | Platts News

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