France Announces Cuts To Nuclear & Coal, Boost For Wind & Solar

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

French President Emmanuel Macron gave a speech on Tuesday in which he announced a raft of new energy policies, including a promise to close the country’s remaining four coal-fired power plants by 2022 and 14 of the country’s 900 MW first-generation nuclear reactors by 2035.

In a speech outlining the country’s “ecological transition,” Macron announced that in addition to confirming the closure of the country’s remaining four coal power plants, France would also begin to close some of its aging nuclear fleet. Specifically, France will close 14 of its first-generation 900 MW nuclear reactors, which were built 40 years ago, and which currently number 34. This will reduce nuclear’s contribution to the energy mix from its current level of 75% to 50% by 2035.

Macron reiterated that he was not planning on enacting a wholesale closure of the country’s nuclear fleet, only that he had been elected on a promise to reduce by 50% the share of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix — a commitment he promised he intended to keep. “I would have liked to be able to do it as early as 2025, as provided for by the Energy Transition Law,” Macron added, “but it turned out, after pragmatic expertise, that this figure brandished as a political totem was in fact unattainable. We therefore decided to maintain this 50% cap, but by postponing the deadline to 2035.”

The country’s two oldest nuclear reactors at Fessenheim will be closed by the summer of 2020, and between four to six reactors will be closed before 2030, with the remainder to be closed by over the next five years.

Macron also promised support for further renewable energy capacity additions over the coming few years, including a promise to triple the amount of onshore wind by 2030 and to increase by five times the country’s solar PV capacity. France will also seek to develop offshore wind, and over the next five years the country will commission the first fleet of turbines off Saint-Nazaire and will launch four new offshore wind tenders.

France is committing €5 billion a year to its new renewable energy plans, funds which will be entirely financed by the country’s controversial fuel tax.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica TV Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

Joshua S Hill has 4403 posts and counting. See all posts by Joshua S Hill