The forecasts are getting clearer for EDF. Thursday, July 2, the French electrician corrected its estimate of nuclear electricity production for 2020. The objective has been revised slightly upwards but the activity of the power stations will remain weak compared to 2019 or 2018.
Adjusting the duration of scheduled outages
In April, the French group forecast production of 300 TWh, a historically low level. The Covid-19 crisis effectively disrupted the program of shutdowns for reactor maintenance. It also resulted in lower electricity consumption and therefore less use of power plants.
Against 300 TWh, EDF now plans to produce 315 to 325 TWh. “This revision is the result of an adjustment to the duration of planned outages in 2020, taking into account the conditions for resuming activities observed on the sites,” explains EDF, which has just disconnected the Fessenheim nuclear power plant (Haut-Rhin). The prospect should reassure the government, which is closely monitoring the security of electricity supply for the winter of 2020-2021 in this unprecedented period.
Towards a sharp drop in nuclear production in 2020
Even at 325 TWh, nuclear production should fall sharply. In 2018, it amounted to 393.2 TWh and 379.5 TWh in 2019. If EDF reaches the high range of its estimate, the generation of nuclear electricity could therefore still decrease by 14.4% between 2019 and 2020.
“The production forecast for 2021 and 2022 remains unchanged at this stage,” said the company. In April, EDF estimated production between 330 and 360 TWh for each of these years.