France To Cut Nuclear Power By A Third By 2025
By Paul Homewood
Last year, we imported 21 TWh of electricity, most from France, the highest on record, and representing 6% of total supply.
We are also in the process of building more interconnectors, as a buffer against the failure of intermittent renewables to supply on demand.
The hope is that we can tap in cheaply to French nuclear power. There is a slight snag with this plan though – France is committed by law to reducing nuclear’s share of generation from 75% to 50% by 2025.
In October 2014, their Parliament voted for this policy, pushed by President Hollande as part of his deal with the Green Party before the 2012 election. However, there was an ulterior motive, which was that the EU Renewables Directive had already forced France to increase the renewable share of the country’s energy mix to 23% by 2020.
Even last year renewables still produced less than 9%, so the target is in effect unachievable. But to get anywhere near it, France has little choice but to shut down perfectly efficient and safe nuclear power plant, and replace with wind and solar farms.
That, of course, is France’s problem. Unfortunately though, if the wind is not blowing and the sun not shining here, it probably won’t be there, or in the rest of NW Europe, either.
If they don’t have any surplus nuclear power to sell us, what will come down the interconnectors?