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France mandates EDF to sell 100 TWh of power under the ARENH scheme in 2023

The French government plans to lower the volume of nuclear power sold by the state-owned utility EDF at prices set by the regulator to alternative suppliers under the ARENH (“Accès régulé à l'électricité nucléaire historique”) scheme from 120 TWh in 2022 to 100 TWh in 2023 (-17%), in a move that could lead to an increase in electricity prices.

The ARENH law (2010) forces EDF to sell part of its nuclear generation (up to 100 TWh/year, i.e., around a quarter of its production) to alternative suppliers on the wholesale market at a regulated price, which has been set by the CRE at €42/MWh since 2012.

In January 2022, EDF was mandated to sell an additional 20 TWh to its rivals at  a regulated price of €46.2/MWh to limit the rise in electricity tariffs. The extension of the mandatory power delivery by EDF to alternative suppliers took place in a context where the company is facing a sharp drop in its power generation due to planned and unplanned maintenance of several reactors. It reduced significantly the volume of nuclear electricity that EDF can directly sell to customers.

In early December 2021, the CRE received requests for 160 TWh of nuclear power generation under the ARENH mechanism from alternative suppliers for 2022, which is 10% more than in the previous year (146 TWh). As demand was higher than the 100 TWh cap, the regulator decided that all the 81 electricity suppliers that passed an order would receive around 62% of the amount they requested.

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