how France is preparing for the worst

In addition to efforts on supply, the government is working on a second component: consumption. Konstantin Chernichkin/REUTERS

DECRYPTION – By ensuring in particular that the reserves are properly filled, the objective is to be able to spend the winter without incident.

A total cut off from Russian gas would cause a difficult situation in France from autumn and, above all, from winter. In 2020, Russian gas represented 17% of France’s supplies. Behind Norway (38%) and ahead of Algeria and the Netherlands (8% each). France is much less dependent on Russia than its Eastern European neighbors. However, it is very difficult to do without these volumes. Especially since the said neighbors will be in competition with France to find new sources of supply. The two main uses of gas concern heating, where the need is necessarily high when it is cold, and the production of electricity, the peak of which is also in winter. Getting through next winter without power cuts and gas shortages will be a real challenge.

To achieve this, the government’s priority has been to ensure that gas reserves are properly filled. Regulations force gas suppliers to fill them at…

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