France’s national electricity transmission grid operator RTE has predicted a vast growth in the demand for and consumption of electricity in the country by the year 2035.
The company states that France has the means to meet the increased demand utilising almost entirely low-carbon energy.
An RTE study entitled ‘Understanding and piloting electrification by 2035’ gives four caveats to this assertion, detailing steps France must take in order to meet the demands.
It states that France can achieve its goals by “imperatively activating four essential levers: energy efficiency, sobriety, optimization of existing nuclear production and acceleration of the development of renewables”.
RTE estimates that France will consume anywhere between 580 terawatt-hours (TWh) and 640TWh in a situation where all the decarbonisation targets are met. This is growth of almost 10TWh per year on current levels. Situations with consumption as low as 500TWh were also studied.
Part of this may come down to green initiatives such as the increasing reliance on electric vehicles as opposed to those running on fossil fuels. In March, EU nations agreed to support a bill banning the sale of CO₂-emitting cars after 2035. The bill included a provision to have all cars sold by 2030 produce 55% fewer emissions compared with the 2021 average.
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The study also contains a survey conducted on between 11,000 and 13,000 people to gauge the public’s willingness to implement behaviours that will support the energy transition.
“The study shows that the challenge of the transition is generally understood and accepted but that there is a gradation in what it is possible for the French to do and what is difficult or almost impossible,” said Brice Teinturier, deputy CEO of Ipsos in France.
The report stated that the primary concerns of those surveyed came over the financial costs of decarbonisation. RTE said that this will present a stumbling block to achieving the four decarbonisation tenets laid out.