January 13, 2020 / 9:17 AM / a month ago

French hydropower reservoirs at record highs: EDF

FILE PHOTO: A logo of French electric company EDF is seen at an office building in La Defense business district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

PARIS (Reuters) - French hydropower reservoirs are at historic highs, around 20% above average due to abundant rainfall and snow thaw in past months, state-controlled utility EDF said on Monday.

The record reservoir levels will enable authorities to handle any power demand increase in case of a cold snap, said Marc Ribiere, EDF’s head of demand, supply and trading.

“Even if there was a prolonged cold spell, we have the available resources to deal with it,” Ribiere told reporters, without giving any more specifics of the reservoir heights.

France has an installed hydroelectric capacity of 25.3 GW, its second largest after nuclear. Hydropower is a major component of supply in peak demand periods because of the speed with which it can start up.

Data from French grid operator RTE show that hydropower stocks are currently at around 2,742 gigawatt hour (GWh) compared with 2,056 a year ago, and 1,719 in 2018.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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