French presidential favorite Emmanuel Macron may have to break a campaign pledge over the speed at which France reduces its dependence on nuclear power. Macron, who topped the first round of voting in Sunday’s presidential election, has endorsed President Francois Hollande’s plan to reduce nuclear output from 72 percent of France’s total electricity generation last year to 50 percent by around 2025. There’s increasing speculation that goal may be unattainable. The 50 percent target might be reached between 2030 and 2033, according to a Macron adviser who asked not to be named because the matter isn’t public. That objective could be reached sooner should technical issues impact EDF’s reactors and France’s nuclear watchdog impose tough conditions on extending those plants’ lifespans to at least 50 years, the person said. The election runoff on May 7 pits Macron against National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, who supports nuclear power and wants to halt wind-turbine installations. Macron is backing a shift toward renewables, even as state-controlled utility Electricite de France SA pushes a 48 billion-euro ($52.2 billion) program to extend the lifespan of most of its 58 atomic reactors. Whoever wins will shape the pace of France’s energy transition, both through state incentives for renewables and financing for the next round of nuclear investment. To achieve Macron’s energy goal by 2025, France would need to cut nuclear capacity by about 25 gigawatts, while adding about 75 gigawatts of renewables, according to Farman at Jefferies. That looks “quite challenging,” he said.
Bloomberg 26th April 2017 read more »