The three enablers of supply continuity
Reduced consumption all around
The European Union has committed to (voluntarily) reducing its gas consumption by 15% compared to the average of the last five years. Furthermore, given the high prices, the coming winter will be a time of restraint for many gas consumers. Given this context, in October, GRTgaz launched Ecogaz, a tool that enables users to find out the level of strain on the gas system and help balance it by taking eco-friendly action.
Interruptibility as a means of “modulating” consumption
Interruptibility mechanisms make it possible to contractually reduce the gas consumption of “large consumers”, who are then remunerated. More in detail, the French Energy Code allows natural gas transmission system operators to contract interruptible capacity with consumers connected to their network in order to preserve its functioning when it is under major threat. The Purchasing Power Act passed on 16 August 2022 and the Orders adopted on 3 October detailed the “guaranteed” interruptibility mechanism and extended its contractualisation to customers connected to the distribution grids. A call for tenders will thus be issued in the autumn to eligible consumers.
Load shedding in the event of supply disruption
When the interruptibility mechanisms no longer suffice, load shedding will be activated. The system’s operators will ask large consumers to reduce or even stop their consumption in less than two hours. GRTgaz has run a survey of its customers to enable the prefects to establish the list of industrial players that should be prioritised for unloading in the event of a supply disruption. As with interruptibility, private individuals will not be targeted by this measure. It is ongoing and extends beyond the sole confines of the current crisis. To round out these measures, the public authorities are also working on a consumption control system, the specific features of which have not yet been set.
That is how much the European Union has committed to cut from its gas consumption between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023. Situations specific to certain States, such as France, may be taken into account in estimating this reduction.