September 18, 2020 Read More →

France boosts renewable energy spending to a record €6 billion in 2021 budget

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

In France, government support for renewable energies will rise by 25% in the upcoming 2021 budget to exceed a record €6 billion, the country’s ministry for ecological transition announced on Sep. 17.

The financial injection will be aligned with the government’s longer-term energy roadmap, released in April of this year, which is targeting the diversification of the country’s energy mix, the decarbonizing of heating and transport systems and energy efficiency measures.

By 2028, the European Union’s second-largest economy wants to double installed renewable electricity capacity to up to 113 GW, compared to 2017. Onshore wind will generate up to 34.7 GW, offshore wind 6.2 GW, solar 44 GW and hydropower 26.7 GW, the government laid out in its roadmap. Meanwhile, 14 nuclear reactors in the country will be closed by 2035, two of which have already been shuttered at Electricité de France SA’s Fessenheim plant in eastern France this year.

France’s power system is dominated by stable nuclear generation, but the country’s grid got an early glimpse of a more diversified power mix during the demand slump caused by coronavirus-related shutdowns. “The health crisis has demonstrated the ability of renewable energies to contribute to our security of electricity supply and their resilience. On some days in spring they provided more than 35% of the total electricity production, without noticeable difficulty on the stability of the electricity system as a whole,” the government said.

EDF is still in the process of building a new nuclear power plant in Flamanville, northern France, but the construction has been delayed and costs have ballooned beyond the initial budget. A decision over new nuclear capacity and the future of nuclear in France’s power landscape is meanwhile being delayed until after the completion of the Flamanville plant.

Simultaneously, adding new green power has become cheaper. “Thanks to the support provided to them and their rapid development, renewables are becoming more and more competitive: support prices for solar photovoltaic energy have fallen by 40% over the past five years, those for onshore wind power have seen a decline of 20% over the past three years,” the ministry for ecological transition said.

[Camilla Naschert]

More ($): France to increase renewables spending to €6B in 2021 budget

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