Now Available: France Power Report Q3 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Aug 06 2013

Following general elections in May 2012, the government made its stance on nuclear energy and shale gas exploration clear, vowing to increase France's commitment to renewable sources of energy instead. The government has called to drop France's dependence on nuclear power from 75% to 50% by 2025. But a year later, little progress has been made towards this agenda, and public sentiment towards nuclear power has also shifted: a poll held in June 2013 found that 14% of the population opposed nuclear energy, compared to 20% in July 2011. The government is also sending mixed messages over which types of energy generation it supports, and opposes: while a ban on shale gas exploration remains in place, in April 2013 it approved geothermal drilling, a technique which is not without its risks. The cost of shifting from nuclear sources of power to renewable is high, and it's a price the government will struggle to justify given France's ongoing economic woes. As such, we wouldn't be surprised to see a shift in political rhetoric by the time a new energy policy is unveiled in early 2014.

Full Report Details at

BMI estimates that French power generation in 2012 climbed to 538.4 terrawatt 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 5.7% in 2012.

Key trends and developments in the French electricity market:

* Ireland and France are studying the feasibility of a submarine power cable link, according to grid operator RTE in June 2013. The proposed 700MW cable would link southern Ireland with north-west France. EdF and its Irish counterpart, EirGrid, have conducted preliminary studies for the cable in Q213, and propose that the two grids be linked by 2025.
* France's Prime Minister revealed in May 2013 that the government will present a bill to close the nuclear plant at Fessenheim - France's oldest nuclear power station - to parliament by Q413.
* In May 2013, EdF (with a 20% stake); GE Energy (40%) and MEAG (40%) finalised the acquisition of Iberdola's 30 wind farms in France, which have total generating capacity of 305MW.

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