France sets 2030 RE targets

France's energy minister Segolene Royal has announced a target of 40% renewables in the country’s electricity mix by 2030, and a 32% goal for their share of total energy consumption.

The 32% 2030 target in the new energy bill compares to France’s 2020 goal of 23%. Last year renewables’ share of final consumption was 17%.

The announcement – which also includes a 63.2GW cap on nuclear capacity, keeping it at its current level – was welcomed by the French Wind Energy Association (FEE), although it noted that the plan contains a number of options for supporting renewables.

Frédéric Lanoë, president of FEE, said the body “wants a thorough reflection on the recast of the energy market necessary for the integration of renewables”.

Detailed policies to promote the expansion of renewables in France were not immediately apparent from Royal’s announcement.

But the government is expected to roll out measures to help developers speed up the deployment of projects.

However, the new energy bill was not met with enthusiasm by all, with complaints that it failed to address limitations on the lifetime of nuclear reactors and dodged the creation of a mechanism allowing the state to make the decision to shut them down.

"The objectives for renewables development and decreasing CO2 emissions are clearly disappointing, just like the positions France had during European negotiations on the topic.

"To become a European leader, France should have stood for a 2030 target of 45% instead of the 32% it set today," claimed environmental group Greenpeace.

"If the bill remains as it is now, there will not be any energy transition in France."

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