France has introduced a new energy strategy that sees the development of up to 14 nuclear power plants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The proposed draft law – set to be presented to the Cabinet next month – targets the construction of at least six new European Pressurized Reactors, while an additional eight reactors may be optioned to meet the country’s goal of reducing fossil fuel dependency from 60% to 40% by 2035.
Despite boasting a fleet of 57 nuclear reactors – built from the 1970s – France’s nuclear power output fell to a 30-year low in 2022 as a result of operational failures. In order for France’s electric utility company, Électricité de France (EDF), to deliver its targeted 300-330 TWh of energy to the country’s grid by 2026, EDF will need to construct at least one 1.6 GW reactor per year.
Notably, the new strategy eliminates stated targets for developing renewable energy capacity through wind and solar projects by 2030 in line with the European Union, as well as domestic targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.