To protect consumers, the government twists the arm of EDF

By Nicolas Stiel the 16.13.2022 at 16h23 Reading 3 min. Subscribers Black Friday for EDF. At midday, the title of the electrician collapses from 16%. The former monopoly is forced by its shareholder the State to sell off some of its electrons

EDF shares plunged by 16% this Friday

Stephane Mahe

“Shit always flies in a squadron.” EDF could take over this good word from former President Jacques Chirac. In recent weeks, the electrician accumulates galleys. The 16 December, the title of the electrician had plunged from 13% after the announcement of the extension of shutdown of the Civaux (Vienne) and Chooz (Ardennes) nuclear power plants. This Friday, EDF is doing better or worse since at midday, the action lost 20%. This fall can be explained by the problems of the (historical) nuclear fleet – around ten reactors are shut down – to which must be added the delays in the Flamanville EPR announced on Wednesday 13 January and the government’s decision to oblige EDF to sell more electricity at a discounted price. AT 46,20 euros per megawatt hour , while wholesale prices exceed 200 euros per megawatt-hour.

It is of course this last decision which is to be the origin of EDF’s Black Friday. The government took it to honor the promise of Jean Castex . The Prime Minister had indicated at the end of September, when wholesale electricity prices were soaring, that the increase in regulated tariffs, at the beginning of February, would not exceed 4%. To achieve this, he intended to play on the 8 billion euros of the TICFE (domestic tax on final consumption of electricity). Problem, over the past three months, wholesale prices have continued their mad swerve. And today, the 8 billion is no longer enough. To limit the price increase to 4%, Bruno Le Maire indicates in an interview at Parisien that the government has decided to increase” by 16 terawatt hours the volume of nuclear electricity sold at a price by EDF to its competitors to increase it exceptionally from 100 at 120 TWh”. The Minister of the Economy affirms that “this measure will be automatically passed on to the bills of private individuals. This will represent a cost for EDF between 7.7 and 8.4 billion depending on market prices”.