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— Between Laurent Wauquiez and the ecologists, the flight of green wood continues

—The photovoltaic sector expected around the corner

— Friends of renewable gas increase the pressure

Hello everyone, after a pinch of Laurent Wauquiez on a green and open wound, your newsletter takes you to play “1, 2, 3 Soleil” during a walk in the forest. Then, after an update on renewable gas and its expectations, we will listen to the two Tricastin reactors singing at the top of their lungs “I’m ten years old” (and more), which does not please all ears.

LOLO AND THE ECO-FRIENDLY The great hollow is now a ditch. The story of Laurent Wauquiez and the environmentalist galaxy is anything but a love story, as we tell you here. “Laurent Wauquiez has a particularity, he makes the fight against ecology a political argument,” says a minister with the guerrilla war in mind around the objective of zero net artificialization.

Locally, it’s not better. None, but really none, regional marriage exists between the man in the red parka and the little green men. Latest episode to date: the president of the Rhône-Alpes region has still not set up the regional energy committee (CRE), provided for by the law for the acceleration of renewable energies. He is the last regional president in this case, according to the findings of your newsletter.

Public Enemy #1. The CRE is slow to be set up for a simple reason: the former president of the Republicans is in permanent war with France Nature Environnement (FNE) which was to sit on it. “He designated us as public enemy number 1,” regrets Eric Ferraille, the regional treasurer of the FNE, who also saw his subsidies cut.

Ecology in 3D. Wauquiez depicts environmental activists as apostles of “the ideology of deconstruction, (…) deindustrialization, degrowth,” as he wrote to POLITICO. “It is not by suicide of human genius that we save the habitability of the planet,” he adds in a sobriety of which he has the secret.

Headwind for wind power. The ecology of Wauquiez is the “mountain of the “snow cannon” according to ecologists), the bet on hydrogen and solar even means shooting down wind power in passing. It’s also letting the Carbon nugget slip away, a gigaplant party to Fos-sur-Mer, the PACA region having rolled out the red carpet for it.

**Get ready for the next debate in Maastricht, join us and our new candidate Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. This edition of the Maastricht Debate is not to be missed, join us online and participate in democracy alongside some of the most influential voices in the EU. Register here.**

At 9 o’clock, webinar on the relaunch of nuclear power in the presence of the High Commissioner for Atomic Energy, Vincent Berger.

From 9 a.m., the Leonard program, created by VINCI, organizes the Building Beyond festival, dedicated to adaptation to climate change for three days.

From 15 hoursdebate on the Energy Charter Treaty at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

At 19 ‘o clockpresentation of the national order of merit to Christine Goubet-Milhaud, president of the French Electricity Union by Agnès Pannier-Runacher at the Ministry of Agriculture.

National Assembly and Senate: last week of vacation.

LET’S WANDER IN THE FOREST. This is a new regulatory text implementing the renewable energy acceleration law (APER) that the industry is impatiently awaiting. The decree in question, a draft of which was published in mid-March, governs the conditions for installing photovoltaic panels on forest land. With one fear: that the State will pull out all the stops to limit installations. The answer will be known “soon”, we promise the government, without commenting on the content retained.

Zones and Amazon. David Gréau, at Enerplan, the photovoltaic federation, emphasizes that the decree under discussion goes further than the APER law passed in 2023. According to him, this has already set an important limit: solar installations are not authorized in forest areas if this involves clearing more than 25 hectares. The draft decree also lists forest areas where photovoltaic installations would be impossible.

We argued to the ministry that the law is sufficient, indicates David Gréau. It is only for solar that these restrictions exist. Nothing exists to prevent clearing for an Amazon depot,” explains David Gréau. “There is a desire to exclude the use of wooded areas. In fact, it is a moratorium on ground-mounted solar power,” regrets Jules Nyssen, president of the Renewable Energies Union.

War of uses. NGOs are monitoring this closely. Of course, they are in favor of the deployment of renewable energies but not just any way. An employee of an environmental NGO lists her questions and doubts, and wonders about the best land use to meet energy needs but also carbon storage, protection of biodiversity and water resources… She regrets the lack of information and pushes for a response on a case-by-case basis, rather than by zoning.

NOT A BLOWER BUT ALMOST. EDF Renewables, Engie and Qair took up their finest pen to write to the ministers of Bercy on February 23 to ask for help (money) and warn about the “viability” now “at stake” of three farm projects pilots (EolMed for Qair, Provence Grand Large for EDF Renewables, Gulf of Lion floating wind turbines for Engie).

In question. In this letter, of which Les Echos published extracts and which we were also able to consult, the signatories point to “a real surge” in costs following the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the inflation shock . . The developers are asking for an “indexing mechanism”. “The State is quite inflexible but so is the economic equation,” says a wind power player to yours truly.

“Without indexation, developments in the project will lead to a cascade of bankruptcies and serial failures of French companies,” another actor already warned at the beginning of December, when he pleaded his case to Agnès Pannier-Runacher, then minister. of the Energy Transition.

High risks. While the Prime Minister’s office was also alerted – visibly without effect – the three actors highlighting “the imminent risks of default and immediate cessation of payments” and gave a deadline of “what weeks to find a favorable outcome”, at the risk to send “a very negative signal”.

Enough to fuel discussions tomorrow in Marseille where the cream of the crop of floating wind power gathers. Your servant has been called pale (sic) but is counting on you to bring him information and indiscretions.

FULL THROTTLE. The gas industry wants the executive to focus more on renewables and will reiterate this this morning, on the occasion of the publication of the ninth edition of the Panorama of renewable gases, which should confirm the rise in power of the sector.

An inventory of the marketbut above all the opportunity to “send messages” to the government, explains Jules Nyssen, president of the Renewable Energies Union (SER), which is producing this panorama, with gas suppliers and distributors.

First message: “The energy transition is not just about electricity,” repeats Jules Nyssen. Decarbonization will also involve other vectors including renewable gases.

We need more ambition in the future multi-annual energy programming, these players argue, by setting a target of 20% “green” gases in the gas network by 2030, but also by mentioning new production methods.

Second message: the decree on biogas production certificates must be published, and quickly, which the SER has already requested by letter to Minister Roland Lescure in mid-April. This text will set the quantities of biomethane that gas suppliers will have to incorporate into their portfolio.

It was validated in the Higher Energy Council in September, then by the Energy Regulatory Commission at the end of the year. Since then… nothing. “The methane sector continued last year despite the fear of an air hole,” comments Jules Nyssen, who hopes for these certificates, “so that it lasts.”

**Get ready for the next debate in Maastricht, join us and our newly confirmed candidate Ursula Von der Leyen – President of the European Commission. This edition of the Maastricht debate is not to be missed! Join us online and participate in democracy alongside some of the most influential voices in the EU. register here.**

REACTOR IN CUPBOARD. The lifespan of the two reactors at the Tricastin power plant should not have been extended by ten years, after more than 40 years of operation. In any case, this is the opinion of two anti-nuclear associations, the Sortir du nuclear network and Stop Tricastin, which filed an appeal on Friday for “excess of power” before the Council of State.

In the sights of associates : the decision of the Nuclear Safety Authority to extend the life of the reactor in the absence of an environmental assessment, a provision provided for by European law. An assessment which should have included “notification of neighboring states which may be impacted by the project”, explains Lisa Pagani, lawyer for the Exit Nuclear network, referring to Italy or Switzerland.

NGOs note that French law was modified in November 2023, to bring it into compliance with European law, but only after the extension of the Tricastin reactors.

— Unlike Germany, gigafactories escape environmental protests in France. However, they consume a lot of water and electricity. Mediacités investigated this paradox.

— The mayor of Fos-sur-Mer announces that he is withdrawing his support for the project combining photovoltaics and hydrogen, announces La Provence.

— The Terrestrial Foods newsletter transcribed a master class noticed by the sociologist Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier, on the solutions proposed to global warming and the blind spot of the social dimension.

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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