France cuts nuclear to 50% by 2025
If you talk with nuclear boosters, they are most likely to tell you about two countries: France and China. When praising France, they will talk about the ambitious coordinated effort to switch their electricity generating profile after the 1973 Arab oil embargo, when the country moved from basically no nuclear power to having over 75% of its generating capacity coming from nuclear in less than 20 years. It was something of an engineering marvel.
What you won’t hear them talking about is the new national energy policy adopted on July 22 after 150 hours of parliamentary debate. This new policy mimics French PM Hollande’s campaign promise to cut nuclear power to 50% of its generating total by the year 2025. France will replace nuclear mostly with renewables.
What does it mean for clean energy campaigners worldwide that the world’s leading builder of nuclear power plants, the country with the largest fraction of nuclear generation and the biggest nuclear construction and operating companies in the world, gets a pink slip? This new national policy also quadruples the price of carbon emissions. It means the real world of new nuclear power construction is dying and Europe, unlike the US, seeing the writing on the wall.
This is huge. Champagne corks are popping in energy campaigning offices around the world.
The US mainstream media has no interest in this story. The only coverage in the US of this story (24 hours after the vote) is Bloomberg News and the Montana Standard. Instead, just as we are foolishly debating whether human induced climate change is real in this country, we are still focusing on the bright future of nuclear power.