France threatening to fly solo on electricity market reform

(EurActiv, 30 Aug 2023) France may come up with national rather than European solutions to reduce electricity prices if discussions on reforming the EU market do not progress fast enough, the country’s Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher said on Tuesday (29 August).

French President Emmanuel Macron lashed out at Germany on Monday, accusing Berlin of deliberately countering the growing acceptance of nuclear power across the EU.

“It would be a historic mistake to […] slow down investment in nuclear power […] in Europe”, especially if this ends up favouring “more coal,” asserted Macron.

With winter approaching and energy bills likely to rise as a result, Macron seems aware that an agreement on reforming the EU’s electricity market is needed.

The European Commission tabled its proposal in March but Berlin and Paris have since appeared at odds on key aspects of the reform.

Brussels has proposed that any public support for new energy generation capacity – or major repowering of existing power plants – be financed through public-private contracts for difference (CfDs).

But while the system will apply to new nuclear projects, France wants to extend the CfD scheme to existing nuclear assets.

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EurActiv, 30 Aug 2023: France threatening to fly solo on electricity market reform