French utility EDF is playing roulette with its nuclear reactors but the “cards are stacked” against the firm as lengthy outages due to ageing units increase the potential for supply squeezes and price spikes. It is no secret EDF often delays the scheduled restart of its reactors following maintenance outages but it has become increasingly difficult for market participants to predict just how long units will remain offline, with the country’s nuclear output hitting a three-year low in 2019. The market is particularly sensitive to restart delays as they can drive up power prices not just in France, where nuclear accounts for 72% of total power output, but also right across Europe. This was the case in winter 2017-18 when outages at several French reactors created fears of a supply squeeze.
Montel News 10th March 2020 read more »