During his election campaign Macron vocally backed 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. Macron is also backing a government plan to close the Fessenheim nuclear power plant when the Flamanville atomic reactor comes on line and to close the country’s remaining 3 gigawatts of coal-fired stations by the end of the next presidential mandate in 2022. To cut France’s reliance on atomic power over the next five years, Macron wants to double France’s solar and wind power capacities, which stood at 6.8 gigawatts and 11.7 gigawatts last year, partly by simplifying authorization processes. He pledged to launch tenders for 26 gigawatts of renewables by 2022, requiring private investment of 30 billion euros. 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. EDF, which has been forced to sell assets and new shares to bolster a balance sheet undermined by falling electricity prices, has said it will have to decide at the start of the next decade whether to build new atomic plants by 2030 to replace older ones.
Energy Voice 8th May 2017 read more »