French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will “pour 30 billion euros, or $34.6 billion, over the next five years into nuclear reactors, semiconductor plants and other strategic investments aimed at revitalizing and decarbonizing the nation’s industry,” according to Liz Alderman in France to invest in small nuclear reactors and green energy project, printed in the New York Times. The investment is intended to position France as a global leader in advanced nuclear and green hydrogen production, while also serving to stimulate the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
France already has a cleaner electric grid than nearly any other major nation, with 70 percent of its electricity generated by clean nuclear and another 20 percent coming from an assortment of other clean energy sources. Yet Macron recognizes the value of investing in the technologies needed to more fully decarbonize the entire world as a way to renew French industry, while pushing to decarbonize the rest of the French economy.
France has few natural resources for powering itself and chose back in the 70s and 80s to take smart steps to protect itself from the geopolitical vagarities of fossil fuels, choosing to build both nuclear power plants as well as a world-class nuclear power industry. This announcement follows in those wise footsteps, as France seeks to improve its economic competitiveness, its claim on critical new technologies and help lead the world in the fight against climate change. In this regard, France is head and shoulders above the U.S. and virtually every other country in terms of its embrace of science and technology, free from ideology.
Read more in the New York Time’s France to invest in small nuclear reactors and green energy project, by Liz Alderman, published October 12, 2021.