Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/28/2014 -- The government is taking steps to reduce France's dependence upon nuclear power, and by end-2014, it is expected to adopt a law to determine how to do this. This follows on from President Hollande's electoral promise to curb the use of nuclear power. But non-government bodies, such as the Renewable Energy Syndicate, believe that the government is not moving fast enough to meet its target - that 50% of electricity is generated by non-nuclear sources in 2020. So what are the alternatives to nuclear power? Investors are turning away from gas - hydraulic fracturing for shale gas is off the agenda, and problems with LNG supply from Algeria in late 2013, and rising coal imports limit the opportunities here. Whether or not renewable energy can take advantage of the opportunities for investment remains to be seen.
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BMI estimates that French power generation in 2012 climbed to 538.7 terawatt hours (TWh), representing year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 1.5%. Overall thermal generation climbed by an estimated 0.7% y-oy, while hydroelectric generation is estimated to have increased by 13.6%. BMI estimates that the use of non-hydro renewables grew by 7.1% in 2012.
Key trends and developments in the French electricity market:
- The French government agreed to the introduction of a carbon tax from January 2014. The government aims to raise EUR4bn from the tax by 2016.
- The ban on hydraulic fracturing for shale gas continues in place. In October 2013, a constitutional court ruled that the ban on fracking continues in place, despite gas companies' protests.
- Regulators are currently considering plans for an electricity interconnection between the UK and France. Dubbed ElecLink, the 1,000MW link will come into operation in 2016, if approved.
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