France must invest more in energy efficiency, renewable energies and nuclear power to get on track to net zero by 2050, according to IEA policy review – News

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In-depth review of France – Event – .


France has helped guide international efforts to fight climate change, but it must accelerate key elements of its energy transformation to achieve its goals. The government faces crucial decisions about its future energy mix, according to a new policy review by the International Energy Agency.

The current pace of deployment of low-carbon energy technologies and energy efficiency solutions in France is not fast enough for the government to meet its energy and climate goals, calling for greater political efforts and investment increased, according to the IEA 2021 Energy Policy Review. France. In particular, the future development of the country’s electricity supply requires the establishment of a clear political strategy.

France has shown significant leadership in raising global climate ambitions. It did so within the framework of the European Union and, more particularly, in its role as leader in the negotiations which culminated in the historic Paris agreement in 2015.

At home, France was one of the first countries to enact a climate law, and in 2019 the government passed a law aimed at achieving net zero emissions by 2050. France has promoted finance government-wide approach to green budgeting, aligning expenditure and revenue processes with climate and other environmental goals. The government’s 2030 investment program and its economic stimulus plan are among the most ambitious in the world in terms of clean energy transitions, with innovative financing programs to encourage building renovations and low-carbon transport.

In 2022, the French government will have to take important decisions to put the country on the right track to achieve its 2050 net zero emissions target, particularly in terms of plans to modernize its nuclear fleet. The government will also need to step up its clean energy ambitions and measures for the coming years across the economy to align with the EU target of 55% emissions reductions by 2030. .

“France is approaching a crossroads, as key decisions on its future energy system must be taken quickly to ensure that it can reach net zero emissions by 2050. By investing much more in energy efficiency , renewable energies and nuclear energy, France can accelerate progress on its main energy and climate objectives ”, said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, which today launches the report in Paris with Barbara Pompili, French Minister for the Ecological Transition.

Energy efficiency is the central pillar of France’s National Low Carbon Strategy, and the government aims to halve final energy consumption between 2012 and 2050. Over the past 20 years, almost all of the gains Efficiency has come from the residential and tertiary sectors, reflecting the success of adopting more stringent building codes and product regulations. However, renovation rates remain slow and only minor savings have been made in the transport sector.

Half of France’s renewable energy production still comes from hydroelectric power stations built decades ago. The government is seeking to accelerate progress in solar and wind by streamlining permits, promoting flagship initiatives and better aligning regional and national ambitions. But these promising efforts risk being undermined without more sustained and coherent policies.

“The IEA peer review is very valuable because it consists of an independent analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of our energy policy, especially in the context of the commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050”, declared the Minister Pompili. “This review comes at a crucial time, in particular to anticipate the preparation of the review of the French multiannual plan and the discussion of the energy and climate programming law in 2023. The IEA review confirms the orientations adopted by France, based on three pillars: strengthening efficiency, developing renewable energies and maintaining a nuclear power base.

To maintain its low-carbon electricity sector, France must develop renewable energies and decide on the future of its aging nuclear fleet, which in 2019 represented 71% of electricity production. Important works are in progress. The electricity grid operator RTE has tested several decarbonisation scenarios, supported by a dedicated study by the IEA on the technical challenges of integrating large shares of renewable energies, which can help to inform critical decisions about the future. electricity and energy in France.

The IEA report calls on the government to decide in time on a vision for France’s electricity mix post-2030 and on the associated financing mechanisms in order to send clear signals to investors, particularly on nuclear power. The government should also improve its capacity market to ensure an adequate supply of electricity during the transition to clean energy.

Energy security will be fundamentally important during the clean energy transition. France still depends on oil and gas for two thirds of its energy consumption. The government must promote the switch to low carbon fuels and support the adaptation of French oil and gas infrastructure, in particular by engaging in international and European cooperation on fuels such as hydrogen.

“In addition to a continued focus on policies that support a climate and people-centered energy transition, the government also needs continued action to preserve energy security as the nature of risks evolves” said Dr Birol. “This means stepping up support for research and development to spur innovation in emerging clean energy technologies so that they are ready to market on time. It also means developing measures to ensure the availability of essential minerals needed for key technologies such as electric vehicle batteries and wind turbines. And that includes investing in energy infrastructure to make it resilient to the most extreme weather and cyber threats, and compatible with new low-carbon energy sources. “

In order for the French government to successfully pursue its energy and climate objectives, the IEA recommends the use of regular progress reviews and the strengthening of implementation capacities across the government.

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