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Green funds and big blurs – POLITICO

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Pro Energy & Climate Morning France

By Nicolas CAMUT


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— Communities weigh in on the future of the Green Fund

– A thinking group thinks that new nuclear power will not meet its deadlines

— Fessenheim: the advanced dismantling project

Hello everyone, It is Thursday April 18. To accompany your breakfast, we have prepared a newsletter rich in atoms!

THE GREEN FUND IS NOT RIPE. This morning, Christophe Béchu invites elected officials to celebrate the Green Fund, which nevertheless looks gloomy. Launched last year, this system helps communities finance their ecological transition and was to be increased to 2.5 billion euros in 2024. But that was before the budget cuts.

Bravache, your newsletter dares to use the word “cut”, a term that the office of the Minister of Ecological Transition considers “inappropriate”. Before the National Federation of Public Works, Christophe Béchu put it mildly: “The Green Fund has not decreased, the increase has been canceled. » Nevertheless, the communities will not see the color of the additional 500 million which had been promised to them.

Communities are knocking on doors since then, to find out how the remaining millions will be distributed, without obtaining answers. A circular – “imminent”, indicates the minister’s office – is expected to indicate to prefects how to prioritize files.

The fate of schools is worrying. An envelope of 500 million euros was to be earmarked for the energy renovation of school buildings. The Association of Mayors of France hoped to take advantage of a meeting with the Minister of National Education at the beginning of April to obtain an answer. Alas, the latter “did not know that she was co-piloting this file”, according to a participant.

In the meantime, projects are slipping. For Damien Demailly, of the Institute of Economics for the Climate, the contradictory signals from the government – ​​acceleration in the fall, brakes in February – will chill communities for a long time.

“The lack of visibility can lock us into a logic of windfall effect, he fears, with elected officials who will only submit projects that they would have carried out anyway.” My colleague Aude Le Gentil tells in this article how communities try to save furniture.

At 10 o’clock, Christophe Béchu opens an event on the Green Fund and community adaptation.

At 20 hours (Paris time), Bruno Le Maire speaks with Melinda Gates in Washington.

National Assembly and Senate : holidays again and again.

TOO OPTIMISTIC. The construction of 14 new EPRs by 2050, Emmanuel Macron’s stated objective, is an objective “at best unrealistic”, according to a note from the thinking group Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) to be published this morning, and which yours truly was able to consult in preview.

“14 nuclear reactors in 26 years, that’s one every two years,” calculates Jonathan Bruegel, analyst at IEEFA and author of the note. “It is simply not in line with the latest EPRs”, and in particular that of Flamanville, the construction site of which has been going on for 17 years, he judges. He believes in the future of the six EPRs but is “much more skeptical about the eight new reactors”.

It will be ok. Joël Barre, the State’s eye on the revival of the atom, is banking on a rise in the industrial sector to meet deadlines. “We must create a series program, with the seed at Penly and use the degression to achieve sufficient completion times,” he explains from his office on Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Let’s talk little, let’s talk “flow”. Same story with MP Raphaël Schellenberger (LR), a fervent defender of nuclear power: what counts is “the flow”. “If we don’t want to have a cliff effect… we have to build a reactor every year,” he asserts, seated with your newsletter near the Palais-Bourbon.

EVERYTHING MUST DISAPPEAR. LR MP Raphaël Schellenberger – again – is confident about the conclusion of the opinion to be rendered by the Local Information and Surveillance Commission (Clis), which he chairs, on the EDF dismantling file concerning the power plant Fessenheim nuclear power station, shut down since 2020. And for good reason: it is he who holds the pen.

The opinion will be favorable, told the Haut-Rhin MP to your newsletter. An “unconditionally favorable opinion”, deplores André Hatz, president of Stop Fessenheim and associate member of Clis. “Overall, the EDF file is fairly well presented but as it stands, it proposes dismantling low cost», adds the anti-nuclear activist. He would like the foundation of the power station to be “totally removed” in the nuclear zone.

Cost a Rhine. Sipping his Coke at 10 a.m., MP Schellenberger recognizes a point of division. Which boils down to this question: how far to dismantle? Some, like him, want the land to become potential industrial land again (“brown field”, in the jargon).

“On this, the political class is aligned, except the ecologists,” explains the MP. The latter would like to go as far as a return to grass. “Ideally, this is what we would prefer, but we are not against an industrial activity, provided that it is not a nuclear activity,” adds André Hatz.

What future for the site? A technocenter by 2031. EDF is working on it. It would be used to recycle metals from nuclear installations. “The reprocessing sector is being structured,” says the young MP. If it were up to him, he would also put a mini reactor there. “Fessenheim must remain a nuclear production site,” he insists.

ELECTRIC MANIFESTO. The French Electricity Union (UFE), the association of the electricity sector, is today sorting its list of priorities for the next European mandate, which your favorite newsletter has obviously decorated. UN manifest very close to the line of the French government.

Selected pieces :

— Establish technological neutrality in European texts with low carbon objectives (translation: to further include nuclear power);

— Integrate a rating criterion on the made in Europe in the texts governing state aid by going further than the Net Zero Industry Act ;

— Establish indicators to monitor the electrification of uses.

Main watchword : the continuity. “We must avoid stop and go», Estimates Christine Goubet-Milhaud, president of the UFE. It calls for “providing a regulatory and support environment that is more or less stable so that economic players can organize themselves”.

Made in Europe. The president of the lobby also calls for regaining “a form of industrial sovereignty” to fight against foreign competition. She sees the opening of an investigation by the European Commission into Chinese state subsidies to its wind producers, which we are talking about here, as “an interesting signal”.

TOTAL ECLIPSE. The solar panel company Systovi announced yesterday the cessation of its activities. In question, “the sudden acceleration of dumping Chinese”, points out the company of 87 employees based in Carquefou, near Nantes. Systovi has been looking for a buyer for a month but has not yet received an offer.

Warning. A “disappearance that could have been avoided if the State had mobilized”, reproach on X Ronan Dantec, environmentalist senator from Loire-Atlantique, who alerted the Minister for Industry and Energy.

“The opening of a judicial liquidation procedure opens the way to a process of searching for buyers of the company’s assets. At the same time, the State will be extremely vigilant in the reclassification of employees,” promises Roland Lescure’s office. The latter explained that he was closely monitoring the situation of Systovi, without hiding too much that he was focusing more on larger projects like Holosolis or Carbon.

SAFETY ON SUSPENSION. The deputies of Nupes and those of the Liot group announced yesterday that they had referred the draft law on nuclear safety to the Constitutional Council.

Their main sorrow : the bill “disregards (…) the constitutional requirements of prevention, preservation of the environment and protection of public health”, provided for by the Environmental Charter.

They also criticize to the text “no less than a reference to the internal regulations of the new entity created to define rules which should have been (…) by the legislator” as well as the simultaneous publication “of the results of the expert opinions (and) of the decisions to whom they relate.

— Masculinist leaders on social networks often share climate-sceptical speeches, deciphers Basta!.

— Believing they were attacking the Courlon-sur-Yonne hydroelectric dam, Russian hackers finally hit the Courlandon mill, reports Le Monde.

— European environment ministers want more environmental regulation under the next Commission. My Brussels colleague Louise Guillot had access to their joint declaration, which must be signed in June.

A big thank you to our editor Alexandre Léchenet.


Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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