European Energy Crisis Puts French Ski Resorts at Risk


European Energy Crisis Puts French Ski Resorts at Risk

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The massive energy crisis unfolding in Europe has put French ski resorts in jeopardy.

In Chamonix, at the heart of the Haute-Savoie, it has been announced that if there is no crowd, the lift will go 10 percent slower (30 percent slower if the resort faces a lack of power supplies), Sputnik reported.

Several ski resorts, including Chamonix and Val Thorens, have also pledged to limit artificial snow production and turn down the heating in buildings.

Those measures “will be invisible and painless for our customers. The objective is to make sure our customers don’t feel the impact of the energy cuts,” said Benjamin Blanc, a director at Les 3 Vallees.

As inflation hits record highs, nearly half of France’s ski resorts had to renegotiate their long-term electricity contracts, and they are expecting an annual bill that could increase between three and six times in 2023, according to Alexandre Maulin, chairman of France’s ski resorts association.

Val Thorens managed to secure a contract before the energy crisis struck with electric utility company EDF for most of 2023. However, now it needs to find a solution for the next skiing season, without the certainty of success.

In October, the French government laid out its biggest energy conservation measures since the oil crisis of the Seventies, the so-called "energy sobriety" 50-page plan.

One measure in particular is that in offices the maximum temperature in winter should not exceed 19 degrees Celsius and it must be reduced to 16 degrees Celsius in storage rooms or to 8 degrees if the building is closed for 48 hours (excluding pre-school childcare and medical facilities).

In leisure clubs, sports, and cultural institutions there will be reduced lighting, lowered temperatures, and a lower use of energy-consuming advertising.

When it comes to skiing, France is one of Europe's top destinations blessed, as it is, with a hefty share of the Alps - Europe's greatest mountain range. It is on France's border with Italy that the mountains reach their peak.