Nuclear revival: funding parameters set “by the end of the year”

Subventio: The parameters for financing the future nuclear power plant program planned by the State and EDF for after 2035 will be set by “the end of the year” (AFP/Archives/JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK)

Subsidies, bank loans, call for savings? The parameters of the financing of the future program of nuclear power plants planned by the State and EDF for after 2035 will be fixed by “the end of the year” declared Wednesday the Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier Runacher.

“We don’t need a new tax, we need long-term financing (…) what is certain is that we will set the financing parameters by the end of the year “said Ms. Pannier Runacher on France Info.

The new CEO of EDF Luc Rémont reminded Tuesday before a Commission of the National Assembly that the estimated cost for the construction of the 6 EPRs announced by Emmanuel Macron last year, was to date 51 billion euros, a sum impossible to bear by EDF alone, heavily indebted.

“The cost of capital can be the subject of work in the structuring of these projects and there is the ability to work, project by project, to ensure that their cost is not increased, this is one of the subjects on which we are working on for the EPR series” said Mr. Rémont on Tuesday.

Among the possible avenues, the minister mentioned Wednesday morning a capital contribution from the State to EDF, of which it is the main shareholder, or support from the Caisse des Dépots. This subject, mentioned by the president of the Caisse himself Eric Lombard, arouses a lot of emotion because the Caisse manages popular savings from the Livret A and finances social housing in France.

“I’m not saying that’s the solution we’ve chosen, but it’s one of the subjects we need to look at,” the minister qualified on this subject.

She defended herself in advance of any budgetary drift: “We invest, it’s not an expense, we invest in something that should bring us money” she said, taking as an example the financing grants to producers of wind or solar energy: “We have supported renewable energies and today they bring in more than 20 billion euros to the state budget”.

© 2023 AFP

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