Sweden overtook France as Europe's largest net power exporter in the first half of 2022, as French nuclear availability has reached historic lows this year due to longstanding issues that show no sign of improving soon, energy analysts EnAppSys said on Aug. 10.

"Sweden's rise to the top of the exporting league table had more to do with France's shift from a net exporter earlier in the year to a net importer, which resulted in a dramatic fall in its overall net position," EnAppSys said.

France usually exports more power than it imports, but structural problems with its nuclear fleet saw exports from the country halving compared to the year previous, while Sweden's exports amounted to 16 terawatt hours (TWh), the company said.

Sweden exported 7 TWh to Finland and 4 TWh to Denmark over the first half of the year, accounting for a majority of their export flows, they added.

Germany was the second largest net exporter at 15.4 TWh, double the levels recorded halfway through 2021, as power generation in the country responded to the import demand from France, the data showed.

France's net-import position has been exacerbated by high gas prices, making it less financially attractive for France to export usual amounts of gas into Europe, which has in turn pushed up gas prices throughout the region, the company said.

France's nuclear power regulator on Aug. 8 extended temporary waivers allowing five power stations to continue discharging hot water into rivers as the country contends with a fourth heatwave of the summer and an energy crisis.

Nuclear availability in France was at half of the total installed capacity on Aug. 10.