And the “The intelligent bison of the electrical system“, in the words of Minister for the Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher. During a press conference on Wednesday 14 September, Xavier Piechaczyk, chairman of the board of directors of the electricity transmission system operator (RTE), presented Ecowatt in detail. The device, which will give energy “weather forecasts”, should also encourage consumers to reduce their energy consumption in times of restricted electricity supply and low nuclear production. Franceinfo answers five questions on the functioning of this tool intended to inform and alert the French.
1What information does this energetic “time” provide?
Thanks to this system, users have registered on the platform monecowatt.fr can see the level of electricity available in the country in real time, thanks to a three-color “weather” system: green (“normal consumption”), orange (“strained electrical system”) it’s red (“very tense electrical system”). Ecowatt presents the consumption forecasts for the next three days, in addition to the details, 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. Several scenarios are being studied to anticipate the next few months, but in the event of very cold winter and supply “degraded “, the red Ecowatt warnings could be activated about thirty times, specifies RTE. However, the electricity transmission grid operator wants to be reassuring: “In no case does France run the risk of a ‘blackout'”.
2How will the French be informed of the need to reduce their consumption?
Like a weather alert, a red alert will be broadcast via the Ecowatt app or via SMS and email, provided you are registered with the“outage notice”.
If the consumption forecasts foresee a period of tension, a first warning will be sent to alert users and allow them to adapt their use accordingly. Ecowatt subscribers will then receive a second notice, if the predictions are confirmed. This time, with the precise timing in which they will be asked to save energy, France Inter specifies.
HAS to date, only 100,000 people are registered on the platform. These warnings could therefore be more widely disseminated by the media and energy suppliers, for local authorities, businesses and households.
3What are the suggested eco-gestures?
In times of network tension, registered French people will be encouraged, on a voluntary basis, to adopt small daily gestures to reduce their energy consumption. These recommendations are particularly valid for peak consumption: in the morning between 8:00 and 13:00 and in the evening between 18:00 and 20:00. On its website Ecowatt suggests, for example, turn down the heat when you leave the house, close yours flaps a at nightfall or in case of absence in winter, to cover the pots during cooking, to avoid charging the mobile phone at certain times, to limit the number of lights on in a room or to turn off the internet box in case of absence.
“If all French families turned off a light bulb, they would save up to 600 MW nationwide, the power of a coal-fired power plant; or the equivalent of the consumption of 600,000 inhabitants”ensures RTE.
4Are companies interested in Ecowatt?
At its national launch in 2020, Ecowatt was intended only for individuals. The device is However expanded to business this winter. “Our switchboard is full of calls from companies that want to sign Ecowatt agreements”said on Wednesday Xavier Piechaczyk, chairman of the board of RTE.
Several dozen companies such as Carrefour, La Poste and Schneider have already signed up the collaboration with Ecowatt. The energy suppliers EDF, TotalEnergies and Engie have also undertaken to warn their customers of any tensions 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 warning signal was already activated 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, which is the equivalent of three nuclear reactors with a capacity of 900 MW”emphasizes RTE.
An identical system Also to communicate on the situation of the gas market, conceived by GRTgaz, should soon see the light. It will be launched “in October”has announced Wednesday the managing director of the gas transmission network operator, Thierry found.