France Fires Up Push for Renewable Energies
France has announced that it was raising its renewable energy goals and would become the first country to issue “green bonds” to fund projects that benefit the environment. French President Mr François Hollande also confirmed that the country’s oldest nuclear power plant, Fessenheim would be closed. Speaking at a national environment conference in Paris, he sought to further carve out his country’s role as a leader in energy transition.
At the same conference, Environment Minister Segolene Royal said a roadmap for France’s energy transition up to 2023 would be published soon, with higher objectives than initially planned. She said the number of wind farms would double in France, while electricity obtained from solar energy would triple.
The amount of renewable energy sources used for heat production would increase by over 50 per cent.
Hollande said that to achieve the goal of decreasing the share of nuclear energy in electricity production from 75 per cent to 50 per cent by 2025 “renewables must be increased even faster.” The goal was written into France’s energy transition law, signed in August 2015. To show the way, he announced today that France would be the first country to issue “green bonds”, which up until now have only been issued by companies or finance institutions such as the World Bank. The proceeds of such bonds are used to finance projects to address climate change.
Hollande also announced that energy giant EDF would close several nuclear power stations from 2018, while others will see their lives extended. He said the first to close would be Fessenheim, which Germany complained earlier this year was, at nearly 40-years-old, “too old to still be in operation.”