Energy Blue Print
France 2012

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

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climate and energy policy

1.1 france climate and energy policy recommendations

The European Energy [R]evolution scenario published in 2012 presented European decision-makers with a cost-effective and sustainable pathway for our economy, while tackling the challenges of climate change and the security of energy supply. It underlines that a fully renewable and efficient energy system would allow Europe to develop a sound energy economy, create high quality jobs, boost technology development, secure global competitiveness and trigger industrial leadership.

At the same time, the drive towards renewables and the smart use of energy would deliver the necessary greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) cuts in the upper range of 80 to 95% by 2050 compared with 1990 levels, which Europe will have to realise in the fight against climate change.

Although it has become a pressing necessity, the Energy [R]evolution will not happen without much needed political leadership: The European Union, France -as a central member in the EU scene, and other members, will have to set the framework for a sustainable energy pathway. The next step on this road is the adoption of a 2030 climate and energy package with ambitious targets on emission reductions, renewable energy and energy savings. In France, the 2013 public energy debate and the resulting energy transition law will have to set the framework for a sustainable energy for the country.

In that context, France should be a leader by becoming an example in Europe and pushing for ambitious climate and energy policies.

France should actively promote a continuation of the positive triple targets principle for 2030 in Europe which will provide industry certainty, mobilize investment in renewable and energy saving technologies, and secure the essential climate ambition.

At present, a wide range of energy-market failures still discourage the shift towards a clean energy system. It is high time European decision-makers demonstrate commitment to remove these barrier towards a clean energy future, create the regulatory conditions for an efficient and renewable energy system, and stimulate governments, businesses, industries and citizens to opt for renewable energy and its smart use.

Greenpeace propose four steps to which France should commit and promote within the European Union:

1. Adopt legally binding targets for emission reductions, energy savings and renewable energy

Commit to legally binding emission reductions of at least 30% by 2020 in the EU To contribute to limiting global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius (2°C) the EU should reduce its GHG emissions domestically by at least 30% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. For 2030, the Energy [R]evolution scenario shows that France energy sectors, including power generation, heating and cooling as well as transport, can make a significant contribution with a 51% greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

France should support a legally binding target of 45% renewable energy for 2030 in the EU Through the Renewable Energy Directive, France has committed to a national legally binding target of 23% renewable energy by 2020. To secure the full benefits that renewable energy offers the economy, employment, energy security, technological leadership and emission reductions, a legally binding target of 45% renewable energy by 2030 is required in Europe and the Energy [R]evolution scenario shows France can reach a minimum level of 48%.

Set a legally binding target for energy savings for 2030. Saving energy makes sense both from an environmental and an economic perspective. A high level of energy efficiency is fundamental for climate action and competitiveness. France must support an ambitious, binding energy savings target for 2030 to move towards a resource-efficient energy system.

2. Remove barriers to a renewable and efficient energy system

Reform the electricity market and network management After decades of state subsidies for conventional energy sources, the entire electricity market and network have been developed to suit centralised nuclear power production. As an important step towards the transformation of the power sector, France should secure full ownership unbundling of transmission and distribution system operations from power production and supply activities. Today, although supposedly neutral, the transmissions system operator RTE remains a branch of the supplier EDF. Any future investment plans on grids should prioritise trajectories integrating a high share of renewables, significant consumption reduction to calibrate the urgent and required modernization of the power grid system.

This is the most effective way to provide fair market access and overcome existing discriminatory practices against new market entrants, such as renewable energy producers.

Moreover, France among the members of the European Union should ensure the implementation of the guidelines proposed under the trans-European energy infrastructure regulation. These conditions are necessary to develop grid connections for renewable energy, including offshore, as well as for smart grid management and active demand side management.

To facilitate this modernization at the European level, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) should be strengthened and the mandate of national energy regulators should be reviewed. Both ACER and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) should develop a strategic interconnection plan until 2050 which enables the development of a fully renewable electricity supply.

In parallel, electricity market regulation should ensure that investments in balancing capacity and flexible power production facilitate the integration of renewable power sources, while phasing out inflexible ‘baseload’ power supply and preventing the introduction of supporting payments in the form of capacity payments.

Phase out all subsidies and other support measures for environmentally damaging energy and transport technologies Government support is still propping up conventional energy technologies, hindering the uptake of renewable energy sources and energy savings. France should stop with the following 10 fossil fuels subsidies:

  • tax and VAT exemption on jet fuel
  • tax benefits on diesel fuel
  • tax refund of fuel tax (TIC) for road haulers
  • tax scale measures favoring powerful cars over efficient cars
  • energy tax exemptions for oil refinery
  • reductions of polluting activities tax (TGAP) on waste reprocessing
  • partial exemption of tax on industrial biofuels
  • reduced rate on TICPE on diesel fuel for non-road usage in construction and agriculture sectors
  • specific VAT rate on recuperative energy (from fossil waste)
  • zero interest loans (PTZ) that subsidise mainly private house building in suburban areas that increase urban sprawl
  • A total 20b€/a can be thus diverted from fossil fuels subsidies to implementing the energy revolution