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A new study claims that renewables are on track to overtake nuclear power as the dominant energy source in France in the next decade.

The share of renewables in France will hit 42.9 per cent of the country’s power mix by 2023, up from 19.9 per cent in 2018, according to analytics company GlobalData.

And the research suggests that renewables will continue to rise as nuclear reactors come offline.

The report examining France’s power outlook to 2030 reveals that in 2018 nuclear power dominated the capacity mix by 47.2 per cent, followed by renewables, hydropower and thermal power.

In the non-hydro renewable energy mix, wind contributed 56.7 per cent followed by solar PV with 35.6.

GlobalData analyst Piyali Das said that France “is aiming to boost the renewable energy sources through tender mechanism. Renewable power sources are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.9 per cent between 2019 and 2030 with a net capacity addition of around 50 GW.

“Installed capacity for onshore wind will double from its current levels of 15.1 GW by 2026, and to support the expansion the government has announced doubling of the renewable energy budget. Solar PV is not behind by much in terms of growth and will witness an addition of more than 24 GW during the same period.”

Das said that in the long-term, the French government has decided to cut down its fossil fuel dependency and is replacing coal and oil power stations with gas-fired plants. The government also has wants to reduce nuclear generation to 50 per cent of net generation by 2035, with a plan to decommission around 14 reactors by 2035 and fill the gap with renewable sources.

“To date the development of renewable energy is largely supported by public support mechanisms,” explained Das. “These mechanisms finance the difference between the remuneration of their production on the wholesale market and the purchasing price guaranteed by the state to the renewable producer.

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Kelvin Ross is Editor-in-Chief of Enlit Europe and Power Engineering International. A journalist for more than 30 years, he has worked on regional, national and international newspapers, as well as trade magazines serving sectors including insurance, shipping, health and financial markets. He has covered the energy sector for more than 10 years. He helped establish Energy Live News in the UK before joining PEi and he has been ranked among the top 100 global influencers on Twitter for 'renewable energy' and 'smart grid' topics.