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Mon Apr 29, 2013, 09:43 PM

Hollande on the ropes as French industry faces higher power prices with nuclear in decline

Hollande on the ropes as French industry faces higher power prices with nuclear in decline
Feb 7, 2013

For decades, the French power industry enjoyed a competitive advantage thanks to one of the cheapest electricity prices in Europe, a result of the country’s long-term investment in 58 nuclear reactors. But as shale gas prices slash energy costs in the U.S., and financial breaks to businesses offset the price of energy in Germany, that competitive advantage is being eroded, Bloomberg reports.

EDF’s nuclear reactors in France—the most nuclear power reliant country on earth—will require billions of euros in upgrades in coming years. This, combined with installment of more costly renewable energy infrastructure, is pushing electricity prices up in France, which has seen more job losses than any other European country in the past decade and is facing a record high trade deficit. Analysts predict the price of power for big industrial users in France will average up to 25 percent higher next year than in neighboring Germany, according to Bloomberg.


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Reply Hollande on the ropes as French industry faces higher power prices with nuclear in decline (Original post)
kristopher Apr 2013 OP
Yo_Mama Apr 2013 #1

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2013, 12:31 PM

1. Here is a more informative article


A new energy law is in the formation stage this year in France, so we can expect a lot of this.

Basically, the French industrials are lobbying for:
A) A continuation of nuclear power,
B) Shielding of French industry for the cost of including renewables, as in Germany. Currently the large industrials pay some of the renewable fees, but not all. Because renewable fees are set to rise sharply, the industrials are pushing hard for similar treatment as in Germany,
C) Reconsideration of fracking,

However, the calculated costs are a bit odd, because the large French industrials are actually still paying less than the Germans. But they are counting the rebates for shutting factories to maintain grid power levels against the cost of total power:
Large French factories will pay about 46 euros ($62) a megawatt hour compared with about 36 euros in Germany, the lobby estimates. The figures include rebates and exemptions such as compensation for carbon emissions, power transport and deals to shut production during peak demand periods like cold snaps.

Paradoxically, the collapse of carbon permit costs has lowered the cost of electricity for some very large German industrials, because the German power producers are being forced to keep unprofitable plants open to provide base supply, so they are making special deals with large users. That way they can cover the cost of keeping the plant open.

Another article with some technical and some political info:

For the non-large industrials, the cost of electricity in Germany is sharply higher than in France.

A more neutral commentary on price differentials was released by DUH (Deutsche Umweltshilfe). Please do not snicker at the unfortunate acronym for English speakers - the name of the organization translates as German Environment Help and the study seems to be quite solid:

French power prices are still cheaper for most French businesses than in Germany, but the real winner has been the Netherlands, which is importing overruns of power surges from Germany at exceedingly low costs:
The figures given under the industrial electricity costs are not those charged to large industries.

For 2012, prices have been updated on the EU site:

Prices for most French electricity users are still lower than in Germany.

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