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Macron’s victory a big win for clean energy prospects

Macron’s victory a big win for clean energy prospects


The pro-EU centrist leader Emmanuel Macrons’ historic victory over Marine Le Pen the Front National leader in the just concluded French Presidential elections will not just change the political landscape of the country but also propel the European nation’s efforts away from reliance on nuclear energy and diesel in favor of renewable energy.

Macron, who was the minister for economy under Francois Hollande’s government, is expected to retain many of the current government’s energy policies towards increasing the share of renewables to 32 percent of final energy use by 2030.

According to his election manifesto, the youngest French President is expected to push the country towards clean energy by increasing renewable capacity, adopting energy efficiency measures, shutting down coal-based power plants, cutting down the country’s nuclear capacity, ban oil and gas exploration in French territorial waters and tax carbon emissions.

Macron had in February 2017 briefed reporters of his plan to double the country’s installed capacity of wind and solar photovoltaic by 2022. He added that he would put out a five-year calendar for tenders to develop 26,000 MW of renewable energy projects at the beginning of his presidency.

Macron had also said he would reduce the share of nuclear energy to 50 percent of electricity production by 2025 in line with the targets set as part of energy transition law France adopted in 2015.

Nuclear energy accounts for 67 percent of France’s power generation while coal accounts for just one percent. Interestingly, the President-elect in February also announced his intention to close all coal-based power plants by 2022.

The government under Macron is expected to work towards promoting the use of electric vehicles and come down heavily on diesel vehicles by increasing the number of charging stations and lowering state support for diesel by raising its tax rate to be in line with gasoline prices in five years.

Macron had in April also promised to allocate euro 4 billion to make households more energy efficient and another euro 4 billion in renovating the country’s public buildings. He added that the move would help the country save euro 400 million annually. The new President is also expected to stick to the “energy transition law” target of pricing carbon at euro 56 per tonne by 2020 and euro 100 by 2023.

The 39 year-old leader, who is officially expected to be sworn in as France’ next President, has in the past also spoken in favour of the merger of the country’s two nuclear giants Areva and EDF.

· Investment of 15 billion in renewable energy and environment conservation measures

· 26,000 MW of renewable energy projects

· Exit from coal-based power plants by 2022

· Reduce share of nuclear energy to 50 percent by 2025

· Push merger of state-owned Areva and EDF

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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