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French electricity demand rose in hottest June month since 1960 -RTE

PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) - French power consumption rose by 1.76 percent compared with the same month a year ago as scorching temperatures, at 2.7 degrees Celsius above seasonal norm, pushed up demand for electricity used in cooling systems in most regions of the country.

"June 2017 was the second hottest month of June since 1960," French grid operator RTE said in its monthly report.

"France experienced a heat wave between 19 and 22 June, and during that week...the French used much more air conditioning than usual," it added.

RTE said demand from users connected to the grid continued its upwards trend that had begun in February.

On the electricity generation side, French hydro power production fell 28.6 percent compared with June 2016 due to lack of rainfall.

Nuclear power generation, which accounts for more than 75 percent of French electricity needs, fell 6 percent compared with June 2016 due to scheduled maintenance of several reactors.

However, power output from thermal sources using oil, coal or gas rose by 30 percent during the same period.

French renewable energy output grew during the month. Solar power generation rose 26.7 percent as long sunny spells provided abundant sunlight for solar panels. Electricity from wind turbines surged 37.2 percent.

"A new instantaneous record was reached on 6 June at 2pm with wind power generating 9,145 megawatts of electricity," RTE said. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)