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France by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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French energy policy – traditionally characterised by centralisation and strong government involvement – has been largely successful in achieving energy security, environmental protection and economic efficiency. The country must now adapt to a changing European energy context in which competition and an increased international scope will play important roles.

France has established a sound framework for its liberalised electricity and natural gas markets, including independent transmission/transportation companies, an energy regulator and third-party network access. It has opened markets in line with EU Directives and is transforming the statutes of the state-owned utilities to those of ordinary companies. The next step is to examine how incumbent market power and government options to influence the generation portfolio might affect competition.
France is encouraged to finalise the new Climate Plan and to implement its policies as soon as possible. The government has already announced a number of ambitious programmes to cut emissions, including targets for renewable energy production and energy efficiency and ways to cut CO2 emissions by 75% by 2050. It should proceed with these programmes, among them the promising White Certificates system for energy efficiency, while fully analysing their costs and benefits.

France has wisely opted to keep its nuclear option open by maintaining its technical resources in this field and considering a new EPR “demonstration” unit. This plant should be developed under market conditions.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; January 2004
178 pages; ISBN 9789264107984
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Title: France
Author: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
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