Renewable energy to drive French power investments
PARIS - France said last week it would boost investment in renewable energy including wind power and curb energy demand to prevent electricity shortfalls over the next nine years.
In a report to parliament, which is likely to set the first formal framework for electricity investments as the market is liberalised, the industry ministry said 21 percent of France\'s energy needs must be captured from wind and water by 2010.
Renewable energy, which covers 15 percent of French consumption, will be boosted mainly by doubling wind powered generation to 14,000 megawatts, or 20 to 35 additional terawatt hours. Hydropower will also provide an additional eight TWh.
At the same time, demand for power will also have to be controlled as the phasing out of coal and fuel fired generation may cause a shortfall for peak power from 2008, the report said.
It proposed that France, the world\'s top power exporter, should study demand in Europe to try to curb exports during periods of high demand, and to cover peak demand from existing thermal units or by building new generation.
In a statement with the report, the ministry made no mention of nuclear power which makes up 76 percent of French power production, but which is seen as a politically sensitive topic due to the presence of Greens in the centre-left government ahead of French presidential and other elections from April.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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