A rope access technician performs scouting on the walls of the reactor of the Civaux nuclear power plant, in Vienne, on September 8, 2021. MATHIEU HERDUIN / PHOTOPQR / LA NOUVELLE REPUBLIQUE / MAXPPP First days of the year, and already first setbacks for the group EDF. Between State injunctions, liberalization of the energy market in Europe, and technical failures, the list of pitfalls is long. Since the start of the school year in January, a succession of “bad news has shaken[e] the group” in the midst of the European energy market crisis, EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy himself acknowledged in a message to company executives, revealed shortly after by the Reuters agency, Monday, January 17, and also consulted by Le Monde. For the company, the main annoyance is due to the decisions of its majority shareholder (83.9% of the shares), the French State. For a decade, European liberalization has forced it to sell off part of its production in favor of competition, and in the name of the forced opening of the market. But three months before the presidential election, the government announced on January 13 that EDF will have to sell more at knockdown prices. For the year 2022, this volume of regulated access to historical nuclear electricity will have to increase to 120 terawatt hours, against 100 in previous years.
According to the State, this surplus electricity sold off is supposed to “protect the purchasing power of the French and preserve the competitiveness of the electricity supply of companies”. The government thus intends to keep its promise to limit to + 4% in February the future increase in the tariff for the majority of households, those subscribers to the “blue tariff” of EDF. From the company’s point of view, the measure will above all offer an additional gift to alternative electricity suppliers, including TotalEnergies and Engie. Small consolation for the French electrician, the price of the surplus will have to go from 42 euros to 46.20 euros per megawatt hour. Six times less than the current prices on the wholesale market. “After having fought it a lot, we experience this decision as a real shock,” wrote Mr. Lévy about the government measure. “We recommended targeted alternatives for the benefit of customers most sensitive to price increases, mainly very small businesses and the most exposed factories. »
Because this measure has a cost for EDF, it should reduce its gross operating income by an amount of between 7.7 and 8.4 billion euros in 2022. In total, the losses could even reach between 10 and 13 billion euros taking into account the shortfall due to the prolonged shutdown of several reactors, estimates the financial rating agency S&P Global Ratings. “According to our preliminary estimates, indicates Claire Mauduit-Le Clercq, head of analysis and credit, the combination of State measures and the decommissioning of certain reactors could lead to an extraordinary drop in its magnitude. » You have 72.67% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.
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