PARIS, France: Amidst shortages and soaring prices caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent supply cuts, the heads of three French energy companies have called upon the public to immediately reduce their consumption of fuel, oil, electricity and gas.
In a joint statement published in the French weekly Journal du Dimanche, the heads of TotalEnergies, EDF and Engie said, "The effort must be immediate, collective and massive. Every gesture counts."
After several European Union countries imposed sanctions on Moscow following its invasion, Russia has cut or shut off gas supplies, in retaliation.
Unlike other European countries, France is attempting to build up its gas reserves for winter by early autumn, in a bid to avoid an economic and political crisis.
"Taking action in the summer will prepare us for winter," the energy company heads said.
Other pressures are also affecting electricity production in Europe, along with reductions in hydroelectric production due to drought.
"The soaring energy prices are a result of these difficulties that threaten our social and political cohesion and have a heavy impact on purchasing power of families," the statement stressed.
According to French media reports, which cited a statement from the Ministry of Energy Transition, the French government plans to restart a coal-fueled power plant located in the eastern Moselle region to meet the country's winter electricity needs.
As part of the plan of President Emmanuel Macron to protect the environment and prevent climate change, all coal-fueled power plants were to be closed by the end of the year, including the power plant in Saint-Avold in March.
With one coal-fueled power plant in France remaining open, radio station RTL France reported, citing the ministry's statement, that the Saint-Avold restart would be temporary, given the "situation in Ukraine" and the "uncertainty of the energy markets."
No Russian coal will be used at the plant and France would still remain below 1 percent of coal-produced electricity, the statement added.