Fragile energy security for this winter

Once again, we stand on the threshold of winter and actors and consumers are beginning to inquire about energy supply in Europe.

This year, unlike the past, there seems to be no major concern; prices remain high but not historically high. However, while there are no alarm signals for this winter, there is a fragile balance between demand and supply that could at any moment break down, causing electricity prices to surge.

In particular, one of the key pieces of the supply in Europe is French nuclear generation. At this moment[1], EDF forecasts that around 52.8 GW of nuclear power will be available in France during the coldest months of the winter season[2]. Knowing EDF’s optimism, one must wonder: to what extent is there truly no supply risk?

In this article, we attempt to answer this question.

Energy situation in Europe

Let us first analyze the energy situation in Europe: on the one hand, gas storages are at their highest level for this time of year in the last 5 years, and despite the increasing Asian demand for LNG, supply seems to be secured for this winter. Hydroelectric reserves in Europe are also at higher levels  than a year ago, and the forecast for the availability of the French nuclear fleet, which is crucial for the stability of electricity supply in Western Europe, is close to the highest levels in recent years.

On the other hand, altought supply seems assured for current forecasts, there is still a risk of prices’ increase in the event of higher demand, whether due to a colder than normal winter  or to an upturn in industrial activity. Leaving aside international conflicts that could once again disrupt all forecasts, European energy security this winter depends on a delicate balance and we are likely to see moments of high price volatility.

Nuclear availability in France

Regarding the availability of the French nuclear fleet, we have not seen such a high forecast of nuclear availability since 2019, with almost 86 % of the nuclear capacity expected to be available (52.8 GW) during the coldest months of winter. This figure represents nearly 12 % of the total installed capacity in Western Europe, and analysts often forget the weight it has in the European market. However, as we have previously discussed in earlier publications [see Newsletter: Nuclear energy in France: a challenge ahead], EDF’s forecasts are, at best, optimistic.

The Nuclear Tracker software, developed by Haya Energy Solutions’ experts, tracks the availability of the French nuclear fleet which is valuable for predicting and understanding market reactions – available in our website: nuclear-tracker. Thanks to this tool, we can analyze the historical forecasts and note that the forecasts for the coldest months at the beginning of the winter season (November 1st) have been, on average,  14 % higher than the reality, resulting in an average difference of -7.6 GW.

These differences can be explained by two main factors:

  1. Delays in the commissioning of the plants after maintenance periods: multiple incidents related to new issues encountered during the course of the work.
  2. Forced unavailabilities that cannot be anticipated which statistically have a minor impact.

As can be seen in the graph below, generated through Nuclear Tracker, EDF expects that up to 15 GW will return to operation during the upcoming winter, which poses a substantial risk in case of delays or issues.

If the trend observed in the past continues, i.e. above-average forecasts, the current availability of 52.8 GW would decrease to 45.4 GW. This reduction of 7.4 GW would have a negative impact on the delicate balance mentioned in previous paragraphs, undoubtedly leading to significant price volatility in response to an increase in energy demand.

In any case, we recommend that actors of the sector closely monitor the evolution of EDF’s forecasts for the French nuclear fleet as we anticipate downward adjustments in the coming weeks. Through our Nuclear Tracker tool – available in our website: nuclear-tracker – you can follow the weekly evolution of nuclear availability, providing a simple but precise view of how EDF updates its availability forecasts.

[1] Forecast as of November 1, 2023

[2] December, January and February.

Manuel Domínguez León

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Each month, one of our experts publishes an article describing his view on a specific topic of the constant changes taking place in the energy market, with special focus on the French market.

Profesional Experience & Education

Diego graduated in Political Economy at King’s College University (London – 2021). He started his professional career in a family business in Madrid as an operations manager. Diego then studied a Master in Management and Master in Computer Science at IE University (Madrid – 2022), during which he participated as an Information Technology (IT) intern in a startup. In May 2023, Diego joined the HES team as an intern specialised in programming models. In his first project, he developed a software tool for modelling the unavailability of the French nuclear fleet. Afterwards, Diego has also participated in the development of new software tools for modelling price curves, generation asset performance and other topics related to the energy market. 

Diego Marroquin

Junior Consultant

Haya Energy-6

Profesional Experience

Céline joined Haya Energy Solutions in November 2021 as marketing and administration manager. She had a first professional experience in the tourism sector as a social media manager. At HES, her activities are focused on the development of the company’s visibility at European level through: commercial actions, content marketing and development of brand strategy. Céline is also involved in the management of the company’s communication: optimisation of the website (WordPress & Elementor), LinkedIn, publication of the monthly newsletter and the organisation of conferences. Céline participates in energy projects with the clients and acts as coordinator and project manager. Finally, she is in charge of administration (accounting, expenses management, invoicing).   


Céline graduated in Spanish and English Philology at La Sorbonne (France – 2018) and holds a Master’s degree in Project Management and Cultural Tourism (Clermont-Ferrand/ Buenos Aires – 2021). 

Céline Haya Sauvage

Marketing Responsible

Céline Sauvage

Investment Advice

“Decarbonization of the Energy and Transport sectors is arguably today’s main economic driver for the industry.”

Profesional Experience

His career started in civil engineering as a Project Manager in France, Martinique and Australia. Afterwards, he became the General Manager of a subsidiary in Venezuela. In 1992, he established Dalkia in Germany (district heating, cogeneration, and partnerships) and represented Véolia in Thailand. In 2000, he opened the commercial office of Endesa in France to take advantage of the liberalized retail market. From 2006, as a development Manager at Endesa France, he led Endesa’s plan for Combined Cycle generation in France and developed the wind and PV portfolio of Snet at the same time. Philippe Boulanger worked for 3 years at E.ON’s headquarters coordinating the company´s activities in France. He was strongly involved in the French hydro concession renewal project. As a Senior Vice President – Project Director at Solvay Energy Services from April 2012 to February 2014 he was in charge of the H2/Power to gas and European direct market access deployment projects. Philippe has been an HES expert since 2014.


Philippe Boulanger holds engineering degrees both from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts & Chaussées (France) and has a combined experience of more than 25 years in energy and infrastructure. In addition to English, Mr. Boulanger is fluent in French, German & Spanish.

Philippe Boulanger

Electricity Expert


“The world is changing. New investors pay particular attention to the energy sector while historical actors adapt their position to the market.”

Profesional Experience

Antonio started his career in the electricity sector in 1991 working as a member of the General Manager’s team at Sevillana de Electricidad (Spain). In 1997, he was appointed head of commercial regulation at Endesa Distribución. In 2000, he joined the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) department of Endesa Europe. He was appointed Managing Director of Endesa Power Trading Ltd (UK) in 2003. A year later, he became responsible for energy management at SNET (France). In 2008, he was appointed Managing Director of SNET (France). In 2009, he became Director of Corporate Development at E.ON France. In 2011, he founded Haya Energy Solutions (HES), a consulting firm focused on optimising the energy management of consumers, producers and retailers of gas and electricity. From 2015 to 2018, Antonio combined the consulting activity at HES with the general management of 2 production facilities in France (2 CCGTs x 410MW), owned by KKR. At the end of 2018, he joined Asterion Industrial Partners, an infrastructure investment fund, as an operating partner. Antonio currently devotes most of his efforts to the Asterion Portfolio, while advising through HES companies in the energy sector in France, Italy, Germany, UK and Spain. 


Antonio graduated from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros of Seville (Spain) and holds an MBA degree from Deusto University (Spain). 

Antonio Haya