Energy crisis: we explain how “Ecowatt” works, the tool that RTE trusts to avoid power outages this winter

Energy crisis: we explain how "Ecowatt" works, the tool that RTE trusts to avoid power outages this winter

Is he “Intelligent electrical system bison“, in the words of Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher. During a press conference on Wednesday, September 14, Xavier Piechaczyk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Electricity Transmission System Operator (RTE), presented Ecowatt in detail. The device, which will give the “weather forecast” of energy, should also encourage consumers to reduce their energy consumption, in times of restricted electricity supply and low nuclear production. Franceinfo returns in five questions on the operation of this tool intended to inform and alert the French.

1What information does this energetic “climate” provide?

Thanks to this system, users registered on the platform can see the level of electricity available in the country in real time, thanks to a three-color “weather” system: green (“normal consumption”), orange (“stressed electrical system”) And red (“very tense electrical system”). Ecowatt presents the consumption forecasts for the next three days, as well as the detail, hour by hour, of the periods of tension.

In the case of consumption that turns red, “Cuts are inevitable if we don’t reduce our consumption”, warns RTE. The goal is to avoid these famous power outages. Various scenarios are being studied to anticipate the coming months, but in the face of a very cold winter and supply degraded”, Ecowatt’s red alerts could be activated about thirty times, specifies RTE. However, the operator of the electricity transmission network wants to be reassuring: “Under no circumstances is France at risk of a ‘blackout’.”

twoHow will the French be informed of the need to reduce their consumption?

Like a weather alert, a red alert will be issued through the Ecowatt app, or by SMS and email, as long as you are registered with the“outage alert alert”.

If the consumption forecasts foresee a period of tension, an initial alert will be sent to warn users and allow them to adapt their consumption accordingly. Ecowatt subscribers will receive a second alert, if the forecasts are confirmed. This time, with the specific times in which they will be asked to save energy, specifies France Inter.

HAS To date, only 100,000 people are registered on the platform. These alerts could then be more widely publicized by the media and energy providers, for local authorities, businesses and households.

3What will be the suggested eco-gestures?

In times of stress on the network, registered French people will be encouraged, on a voluntary basis, to adopt small daily gestures. to reduce your energy consumption. These recommendations are especially valid for consumption peaks: in the morning between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. and in the afternoon between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. On its site, Ecowatt suggests, for example, turn down the heat when you leave your house, close your flaps to at dusk or in case of absence in winter, to cover pots while cooking, to avoid charging the mobile at certain times, to limit the number of lights on in a room or to turn off your internet box in case of absence.

“If all French households turned off a light bulb, up to 600 MW would be saved across the country, the power of a coal-fired power plant; or the equivalent of the consumption of 600,000 inhabitants”ensures RTE.

4Are companies affected by Ecowatt?

At its national launch in 2020, Ecowatt was only intended for individuals. the device is nevertheless it expanded to businesses this winter. “Our switchboard is saturated with calls from companies that want to sign Ecowatt agreements”said Xavier Piechaczyk, chairman of the RTE Board, on Wednesday.

Several dozen companies such as Carrefour, La Poste and Schneider have already signed the partnership with Ecowatt. Energy providers EDF, TotalEnergies and Engie have also agreed to warn their customers of any stress on the grid.

5Has the device been used before?

The system has been tested for several years in Brittany and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. The system became national in 2020. A The orange alert signal was already triggered on April 4, during a very cold day, which saved around 800 MW, according to RTE data. “One degree below normal for the season is a consumption that increases by 2,400 MW, or the equivalent of three nuclear reactors of 900 MW of power”underlines RTE.

An identical system to communicate about the situation of the gas market, designed by GRTgaz, should also see the light quickly. will be released “in October”has announced on wednesday the general manager of the gas transmission network operator, Thierry found.

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