Macron unveils longterm energy strategy

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-27 23:00:42|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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PARIS, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday laid out a long-awaited government update of its ecology roadmap in which he targets to shrink the country's reliance on nuclear energy and pour more cash into renewables to switch to cleaner energy and fight climate change.

In a televised speech, Macron pledged to reduce the country's share of nuclear energy in power production to 50 percent by 2035 from 75 percent today, a decade later than an initial timetable set by his predecessor, Francois Hollande and which was maintained by the centrist government.

Eyeing fewer nuclear energy reactors in 10 year's time, he said 14 of the state-owned utility EDF's 58 nuclear energy reactors would be closed by 2035, with the two reactors at the Fessenheim, the country's oldest plant, stopped by the summer of 2020.

The government's energy transition scheme also included the closure of four to six reactors before 2030, two in 2027-28 and possibly two in 2025-26 "if security of supply is ensured and if our European neighbors accelerate their energy transition," Macron told the gathering.

Meanwhile, he ruled out a policy to phase out nuclear power entirely.

"I immediately set a rule for EDF: no complete closure of the sites. To reduce the nuclear part is not to give up nuclear power. It remains a promising way for reliable, low-carbon, low-cost energy," he stressed.

"I was not elected on a promise to exit nuclear power but to reduce the share of nuclear in our energy mix to 50 percent," he said, adding that he was adopting "a pragmatic approach ... which takes into account security of supply."

Launching "Make our planet great again" campaign shortly after his won power in 2017, Macron warned that "climate situation creates an emergency situation... The longer we wait, the more painful the effects will be."

"Everyone has to play his role... We must go out of fossil fuels. We must in 30 years move from a France where 75 percent of the consumed energy is from fossil origin to a France where the energy will be carbon-free in 2050," he said.

In order to turn words to deeds, the French president pledged to increase the state's financial aid to further promote renewables'output, to between 7 and 8 billion euros (7.92 and 9 billion U.S. dollars) per year from 5 billion currently.

Furthermore, he announced the closure of France's four remaining coal-fired power plants by 2022.

"If we achieve these goals, we will realize a big step in the climate fight. But to continue to move, to heat, we must be able to produce alternative energy and this is the goal of this PEP (Multiannual Energy Program)," he said.( 1 euro = 1.132 U.S. dollar)

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