French Law on Shift From Atomic Power to Take Effect by End-2014

A French law to lower the country’s reliance on nuclear power and raise the share of electricity generated from renewable sources is expected to take effect by the end of next year, Environment Minister Philippe Martin said.

“The law will be presented in the spring, discussed during the summer and adopted by the end of 2014,” he said today in a statement that included a five-page outline, the first to be released, on how the legislation will be framed.

The delayed law follows President Francois Hollande’s vow during his election campaign to cut reliance on nuclear to half of total power output by about 2025 while also curbing consumer bills and greenhouse gas emissions. France sources about three-quarters of the power it produces from Electricite de France SA’s 58 reactors, a greater proportion than any other country.

The pledge was reaffirmed by Martin today, along with goals Hollande gave in September to cut energy use in half by 2050 and fossil fuel use 30 percent by 2030. Emissions will also be cut.

The law “will give the state the tools necessary for the energy transition,” according to the statement. It will detail how the energy shift will be financed, with changes to France’s reliance on the so-called CSPE renewables tax and “financial gains” from the performance of EDF’s atomic fleet.

Modifications will also be made to hydropower concessions, nuclear safety, atomic subcontracting and waste storage sites.

Hollande didn’t say in his September speech outlining the energy policy whether more nuclear plants would close beyond the planned shuttering of Fessenheim in eastern France. Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said in an interview that none would.

The law would allow the government, EDF and the regulator, to decide how long nuclear plants should run, Hollande said.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.