The French government warned Wednesday, August 3, that companies might have to reduce energy use this winter even with the country’s natural gas reserves at full capacity, as Russia continues to reduce its gas exports to Europe. Moscow has slashed its exports to Europe in response to punishing Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, forcing countries to scramble for alternatives.
Even though France is less reliant on Russian supplies than other EU countries, generating around three-quarters of its electricity from nuclear power plants, its industrial sector still relies on gas and millions of people use it to heat their homes. Winter shortfalls will be a risk even though France is racing to top up its gas reserves. And France is also facing a winter with fewer of its nuclear plants online because of either maintenance or safety concerns, meaning that electricity supplies could be strained.