"Everyone can understand that to meet this objective, we will close a number of reactors ... it may be up to 17. We will see," Hulot said in an interview.
The shortfall would be met with a mix of greater energy efficiency, lower consumption and accelerated deployment of renewables.
This would include simplifying the permitting process and shortening appeals, the minister explained.
"This is a positive move for the wind sector," said Marion Lettry, assistant executive commissioner of trade body SER.
"It confirms that renewable generation can respond to meet demand, but we still need to put the tools in place to accelerate deployment," she added.
France currently has 58 reactors, of which five are over 38 years old.