28.01.2015_No21 / News

France Will Fail To Meet Nuclear Reduction Target, Energy Experts Say

Policies & Politics

28 Jan (NucNet): The share of nuclear power in the French electricity mix is likely to drop from 74 percent today to 58 percent in 2030, failing to meet a reduction target set out in planned legislation, a survey of energy market experts has shown.

The Fessenheim nuclear station in France.

The winter 2014 edition of the Grenoble Ecole de Management Energy Market Barometer says only a quarter of the experts interviewed for the survey believe that France’s share of nuclear power will be 50 percent or lower in 2030, five years later than the target year set in the government’s energy transition bill.

The bill calls for the share of nuclear in the electricity mix to be cut from 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025.

The declining share of nuclear power will mostly be replaced by renewables (other than hydropower). These renewable energies are expected to almost quadruple their share from five percent today to 18 percent in 2030.

The share of hydropower in the French electricity mix is expected to remain fairly constant. Natural gas and coal currently account for four percent of overall electricity production, but are expected to almost double their share by 2030. During the same period, the share of coal is expected to half.

The Energy Market Barometer is a twice-yearly, survey of approximately 200 energy market experts from industry, science, and public administration in France. It documents their estimates of the future electricity mix in France and in the European Union, their assessment of the regulatory conditions in France for investments in energy technologies, and their expectations about the development of energy and CO2-certificate prices.

The report says nuclear and coal power dominate the EU power mix, with shares of 27 percent each. The experts expect the share of coal to drop by 10 percent by 2030 and nuclear to drop by five percent.

In comparison, renewable energy sources (other than hydropower) are estimated to almost double their share from 13 percent currently to 25 percent in 2030. Renewables are expected to become the dominant source of electricity generation in the EU by 2030.

Experts are divided over current and future regulatory conditions for investments in nuclear technologies in France. Both the share of experts who consider current regulatory conditions favorable and those who consider them unfavorable was just over one-third.

Although the energy transition bill foresees a substantial reduction in the share of nuclear in the French power mix by 2025, only 43 percent of the experts expect future regulatory conditions for investments in nuclear technologies in France to worsen.

In October 2014 the French Nuclear Energy Society (SFEN) said it believes the proposed nuclear reduction would result in the closure of 22 reactors of 900 megawatts, in addition to the closure of the two-unit Fessenheim nuclear station, after 40 years of operation. This would mean three closures in 2018, six in 2019, eight in 2020 and five in 2022, with the loss of 45,000 jobs, SFEN said.

The Energy Market Barometer (Baromètre GEM du Marché de l'Energie) is online:


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Contact the editor responsible for this story: David Dalton at david.dalton@nucnet.org

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • France’s Nuclear Closures Will Cost €40 Billion, Says Report (News in Brief No.311, 01 October 2014)




David Dalton

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