France’s ‘last mile’ strategy for renewables under fire from all sides

(EurActiv, 12 Jan 2024) France’s draft ‘energy sovereignty’ law, recently unveiled by the government, has caused quite a stir for its apparent dismissal of renewable energies, placed at the bottom of the list of low-carbon energies, behind nuclear.

“It is absolutely untrue to say that we have no renewable energy targets in this text,” said the cabinet of the now former Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher, who has been under attack from all sides since the bill was presented on Monday (8 January).

The bill, which sets out France’s main energy priorities for 2030, has been criticised for neglecting to mention quantified generation targets for renewable energies.

This would be contrary to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, updated in 2023, which mandates EU countries to reach a collective share of 42.5% for renewables like wind and solar in the bloc’s final energy consumption.

The criticism was firmly rejected by Pannier-Runacher’s office, which insists that the text mentions renewables and even gives them “a crucial role, that of a keystone”.

“Once we have laid all the foundations for the existing sectors [nuclear, etc.], renewable energies will provide the last mile,” it adds.

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EurActiv, 12 Jan 2024: France’s ‘last mile’ strategy for renewables under fire from all sides