In a letter, the heads of France’s major energy companies issued a dire warning about the energy crisis, urging individuals and businesses to limit power consumption immediately. For nearly a year, Europe has been gripped by a major fossil fuel energy crisis, which was aggravated by Russia gradually squeezing supplies of gas flowing into the fuel-starved bloc in order to exert political pressure. Europe is heavily dependent on Russia for its fossil fuel exports, particularly natural gas.
In an open letter published by the weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche, the chief executives of Engie, EDF, and Total wrote: “We need to work collectively to reduce our consumption in order to regain room to manoeuvre.”
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the EU and Moscow have grown further apart, with Vladimir Putin cutting off gas supplies to several nations.
Meanwhile, EU has vowed to reduce the imports of Russian gas by two thirds by the end of the year, and has also placed sanctions on coal and oil exports from Moscow.
As a result of this sharp decline in energy exports from Russia, Engie’s Catherine MacGregor, EDF’s Jean-Bernard Levy and TotalEnergies’ Patrick Pouyanne signed a letter warning of another energy crisis looming this winter.
On Thursday, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced to the country is looking to fill up its gas storage facilities by early autumn, which are currently about 59 percent full.
Meanwhile, French media reported in March that Mr Macron’s government planning to boost its LNG storage capacity with the help of TotalEnergies after the US noted it was prepared to increase deliveries to Europe.
In the letter, the energy executives wrote: “Taking action as soon as this summer will allow us to be better prepared at the start of next winter, notably for preserving our gas reserves.”
They also stressed the importance of taking “immediate, collective and massive” efforts to limit energy consumption.