RTE plans to double the French interconnection capacity in 10 years
RTE, the company responsible for managing France’s power transmission grid announced last Friday his intentions to increase the French interconnection capacity in 10 years with border countries networks in order to support the fast development of renewable energies.
These interconnections, which allow to exchange electricity between the border countries, could increase by 10 gigawatts in 2023, declared the French company when it presented its ten-year network investment plan, worth 15 billion euros.
As regards the overall increase of the renewable energies (wind, solar, biomass, marine…), the energy mix of the countries evolve and “thus the power flows change” explained Michel Dubreuil, director of Development and Engineering in RTE.
The French government aims at reducing by 75% to 50% for 2025 the nuclear share in the electricity consumption.
The intermittent functioning of the renewable energies also requires to increase the exchange capacities in order to compensate the deficits and surplus of the power generation.
RTE wants to set up further connections between Spain and France through the East of the Pyrenees in 2015 (Inelfe) and an other one between Savoy and the Piedmont area in Italy in 2019. Some electricity links through the Bay of Biscay and towards the United Kingdom are planned to be realized whereas some others with Belgium, Germany and Switzerland are currently under study.
All in all, RTE provides for 1,5 billion euros investiments each year to create or reinforce some 10 000 km of high voltage connections in France or with the border countries.
These works may foster 13 000 employments according to RTE which ten-year network investment plan is still in public consultation.
The company responsible for managing France’s power transmission grid wants to reinforce the territorial solidarity in France confronted by discrepancies as regards the power generation. “Nowadays, some regions such as Rhone-Alpes are producing more than they are consuming, and others like Britanny only produce 10% of energy consumption”, added Mr Dubreuil.
Several consultations aim at set up more electricity connections between Lille and Arras, lyon and Montelimar or an underwater link in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
The expenses related to the high voltage connections represent about 10% of French people electricity bills. Mr Dubreuil confirms that this proportion should not increase in the next few years.
Source : AFP, “Electricité : RTE veut doubler les capacités d’interconnexion de la France en 10 ans”, 15/11/13 ;