French President Emmanuel Macron said that by 2030 France must be a leader in carbon-free power generation, placing the focus squarely on nuclear energy and green hydrogen.
Macron was speaking at the launch of France’s €30 billion ($35 billion) five-year investment plan, a roadmap dubbed “France 2030” designed to drive industrial development.
Part of the plan will see €1 billion ($1.16 billion) invested in the building of a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR), as well as two megafactories for the production of green hydrogen by the end of the decade.
“To produce energy, especially electricity, we are in luck,” Macron said. “The country’s nuclear power installation is already in place.”
France has the world’s second-largest nuclear fleet, which it uses to produce 70% of its energy. Macron plans to use the country’s nuclear prowess to drive next-gen SMR technology, decarbonisation through clean hydrogen generation, as well as drive energy security.
The announcement comes as Europe experiences record-high gas prices and severe natural gas shortages.
Macron stated that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities within France and highlighted the need for innovation and industrial capabilities close to home, according to Fortune.
“We must rebuild a framework to ensure the productive independence of France and Europe,” he said.
Macron also committed to investments in French-manufactured semiconductors and electric vehicles.