French RE has Royal hopes

Renewables advocates in France have voiced hopes that the sector will receive a boost under new environment and energy minister Segolene Royal.

Royal takes over at a crucial time for renewables in the country, said the French Wind Energy Association (FEE).

“A law is underway which should become effective in the autumn, which will define France energy policy for the years to come. We do hope the place of wind industry in the French energy mix will be strengthened,” the body said.

Pressure group Greenpeace told Recharge it was encouraged by the “clear and ambitious position about environment and energy” adopted by Royal, who is the former partner of President Francois Hollande and herself a presidential candidate in 2007 .

Royal has previously vowed to lower dependence on nuclear energy and keep France’s ban on fracking, Greenpeace noted.

With 58 atomic reactors, France is the most dependent country in the world on the source, and state-owned utility EDF the biggest operator.

But Greenpeace cautioned: “We know what will count is not really the personality of the minister, but rather the space she will get to work with. The first crucial step will be the discussions about the future law on energy transition.”