9 May 2012

New French President Plans to Reduce Nuclear Share

The incoming French president François Hollande plans to close the two Fessenheim reactors, France’s oldest plants, during his term of office. Hollande also confirmed during his final TV debate with outgoing president Nicolas Sarkozy on 2 May 2012 to progressively reduce the share of nuclear power in the electricity generation from three quarters to about half by 2025. However, the extent and schedule of the upcoming energy transition remains unclear and will also depend on the composition of the government. Hollande will announce the selection of his Prime Minister on 15 May 2012. Hollande’s Socialist Party has signed a far reaching pre-electoral agreement with the Green Party. Hollande, who is not the party leader, stated however that he did not feel bound by all of the text. Party leader Martine Aubry has stated repeatedly that she is in favor of a complete nuclear phase-out. The outcome of the legislative elections on 10 and 17 June 2012 will also the extent to which a more radical approach to energy sector reform can be expected. In the meantime, the market of the State controlled nuclear companies Electricité de France (EDF) and AREVA continue to fall with their share value dropping by about 3% since the elections.