Drop in hydropower weighs on French RE output in Q1

A sharp fall in output from French hydropower plants weighed on total renewable power generation in the first quarter of the year despite record electricity production from solar panels across France, the energy ministry said on Friday, report agencies. 

French hydropower generation fell nearly 30% in the first three months of the year compared with the same period a year ago due to low rainfall, the ministry said in its quarterly report.

Electricity generated by solar plants surged 56.6% during the period, compared with the first quarter of 2018, while wind power output rose 5.3%.

Total power from renewable sources fell 15.7% in the first quarter of the year versus the first quarter of 2018.

Nuclear power supply, France's main source of electricity, fell 1% to 111.7 terrawatt hour (TWh). Nuclear power generation accounted for 71.4 percent of French electricity needs in the quarter, added the report.

Power output from thermal - coal, gas and oil-fired plants - fell 0.2 percent in the quarter to 17.5 TWh as mild weather curtailed the need for the generators which are mostly used during peak demand periods.

In all, French electricity output fell 3.8% in the first quarter to stand 156.5 TWh, compared with the same period a year ago.

The report said carbon dioxide emissions from energy in France fell nearly 15% in the quarter due to the low use of thermal power generation and a fall in road fuel consumption.