France will reduce its dependence on nuclear energy while decreasing its use of fossil fuels and slashing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is in stark contrast to nations like Japan, Germany, and Italy which are increasing fossil fuel use to make up for the decommissioning of nuclear plants. France plans to ramp up wind and other renewable sources of energy to replace nuclear.
When he was elected in 2012, French President François Hollande promised to reduce the country’s use of nuclear energy from 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025. This vision was reiterated in April, by the new French Prime Minister Manuel Valls who said the details of the French energy mix will be revealed in an energy law that will be unveiled by the end of June.
As many as 20 French reactors may be decommissioned by 2025 to meet Hollande’s pledge to reduce dependence on nuclear power. According to the World Bank, in 2012, fossil fuels accounted for half (49 percent) of France’s energy consumption. What makes France a clean energy leader is not its rejection of nuclear, it is the fact that by 2030 the country will reduce its use of fossil fuels by 30 percent and slash carbon emissions by 40 percent.