French power costs will rise if renewables are sidestepped

France will save EUR 39 billion if it refrains from building 15 new nuclear plants by 2060, and bets instead on renewable energy sources to replace its all its aging atomic facilities, a government agency said.

Photo: Martin Meissner/AP/POLFOTO

France should spend EUR 1.28 trillion over the next four decades, mostly on clean power production and storage capacities, networks, and imports, according to a report from the country's environment ministry. If it does this, France would progressively shut down its 58 atomic plants and renewable energy would comprise 95 percent of its electricity output by 2060, up from 17 percent last year.

The development of the so-called EPR nuclear reactors "wouldn't be competitive for the French power system from an economical standpoint," the Agence de l'environnement et de la maîtrise de l'énergie -- or Ademe -- said in a statement. The report assumes that the reactors would produce electricity at a cost of EUR 70 per megawatt-hour, while the cost of wind and solar power would fall much lower.

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