Developed countries may very well increase the share of renewable energy in their energy balance

31 july 2017 | IA REGNUM

France may end up on the brink of an energy catastrophe. More than 70 % of electric power produced here is generated by nuclear power stations, but the alternative energy lobbyists that have now taken control of the government want to turn France into "the greenest country in the world", while making it energy dependent in the process. Thus, just the other day the minister for energy transition Nicolas Hulot announced that a road map had to be developed to close down 17 nuclear power plants.

Anna Lobanova
Anna Lobanova
Department for Research Studies

Commenting on France's possible abandonment of nuclear power for IA REGNUM, Analytical Center expert Anna Lobanova noted that there were several possible reasons for the move.

The first reason is that a large portion of the country's nuclear power plants are old and need replacement, while the capital expenditure required for the construction of new nuclear power plants is close to that of building renewable energy sources; in the meantime France's national nuclear power company Areva is operating at a loss. The second reason is that if the share of nuclear power generation fell to 50 %, the whole electric power industry becomes more nimble and better able to adapt to the spikes and troughs in demand from season to season and between day and night by utilizing natural-gas-fired power plants; a side effect is reduced exports of nuclear power at night and imports during the day. The third reason, possibly the most important one, is politics: as France is seeking closer ties with Germany in its energy policy it also wants to demonstrate a transformation of its electric power industry involving further development of renewable sources.

According to Ms. Lobanova, increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy balance of developed countries is possible, but it is not yet clear how fast the consumption of renewable energy is going to increase and how exactly this increase is going to be happening: it could take the natural course as renewable sources become more competitive or it could happen in the German way through green energy being subsidized by individuals and the state.

Ms. Lobanova believes that in the future either energy companies or the government are going to lose revenue and increase spending on renewable energy sources as they both are going to be betting on fast paced progress in science and technology, which, it is hoped, should make alternative energy sources economically viable in five to ten years.


Photo from open sources