France confirms renewables boost over nuclear

FRANCE: Newly-elected French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has confirmed the new government will uphold the target of reducing the share of nuclear power from 75% to 50% of electricity production by 2025.

French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

Ayrault, who was making his first policy statement before parliament, said this will be achieved mainly by boosting renewable energies and cutting demand.

At the same time, the new minister of environment, sustainable development and energy, Delphine Batho, announced in her first public statement that the development of renewable energy would be a major focus" of government policy.

Regarding wind power, trade body the Renewable Energy Syndicate (SER) says "a thorough consultation is already underway with the government and parliament to simplify administrative procedures."

In the meantime, Batho said the promised national debate on energy, will now start in September. It was initially scheduled for July,  Batho said.

The government will present its law planning the energy transition early 2013.

Campaign promise

Ayrault's confirmation follows the campaign promise of newly-elected French president Francois Hollande to reform wind farm planning law and lower the country's reliance on nuclear from 75% to 50% by 2025.

In an article in Le Monde on 8 May, Hollande's energy advisor Marie-Hélène Aubert said the new government would "re-establish a stable, visible and incentivising regulatory framework" for wind power before next summer.

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