French prime minister warns of energy ‘rationing’ risk in winter

French prime minister warns of energy ‘rationing’ risk in winter

French prime minister warns of energy ‘rationing’ risk in winter – “If we act collectively then we can overcome the risk of shortages, but unless everyone takes part and if all the bad-case scenarios come together then we could be forced to impose reductions on consumers,” Borne said on Monday. “If we end up with rationing, companies will be the most affected and unfortunately we need to be prepared for it.”

The French premier said the government was already drawing up contingency plans which included a “quota trading system” that would enable companies to buy and sell power quotas.

Borne said the government was also preparing measures to support companies that would be “too severely affected” by rationing.

“Every company needs to mobilize and act. I call on everyone to establish their own energy-saving plans in September,” Borne said.

The crisis would help the transition away from fossil fuels, she said, adding, “The months ahead are just a step in the bigger transition that we need to make.”

Gas accounts for about 20 percent of France’s overall energy consumption but is used as a power source for less than 10 percent of its electricity, according to statistics from the International Energy Agency.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron said tough months were ahead as his administration braced for energy price hikes due to the war in Ukraine.

Macron said people were living through a series of crises, ranging from extreme temperatures, fires and drought of the past weeks to the Ukraine conflict and disruptions to global trade.

The French government has said the country could not maintain energy price caps to help households cope with soaring inflation forever.

Energy prices have soared across the world as a result of the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine conflict, but Europe, particularly, has been badly hit, with Russian President Vladimir Putin having threatened “catastrophic consequences” for world energy markets if Western powers impose further sanctions on Moscow over Russia’s operation in Ukraine.

Russia supplied 40% of EU gas needs before the war in Ukraine.


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