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France to cut nuclear's share of power market to 50% by 2025


France's lower house of Parliament voted Friday to cut nuclear's share of the power generation market to 50% by 2025, from 75%, the AFP Parliamentary newswire reported.

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MPs agreed an article in the the government's "Energy transition for green growth" bill, which also sets long-term targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and reduce national energy consumption 20% by 2030.

The energy transition bill follows two years of consultation with industrial, environmental and social groups.

A nuclear power capacity ceiling would be imposed at the current capacity level of 63.2 GW, meaning state-owned nuclear operator EDF must shut at least 1.65 GW of nuclear capacity at the end of 2016 when its Flamanville-3 EPR is scheduled to start commercial operations.

The government initially said EDF's two 900 MW reactors at Fessenheim, near Germany, would be shut, but energy minister Segolene Royal has said since it would be up to EDF to decide which reactors were decommissioned.

The government wants renewable energy to mainly replace nuclear capacity, as it sees this as a key growth sector to boost sagging employment.

The energy transition bill sets a target of 40% of electricity produced from renewables by 2030, up from a current 15% share.

--Robin Sayles,
--Edited by Dan Lalor,