Monday 23 January 2012

French power prices may rise 30% by 2016, energy regulator says
18 Jan 2012

French state-regulated power rates charged by Electricite de France SA could jump about 30% by 2016, according to the energy regulator. The increase would reflect inflation, higher wholesale rates at which EDF Energy sells nuclear power to rivals, a subsidy for renewable energy, and transport and distribution costs, Philippe de Ladoucette, head of the Commission de Regulation de l'Energie, told a conference today in Paris.

With an election due later in the year, the government is under pressure to keep down energy costs for consumers. Prime Minister Francois Fillon pushed up power prices last July and said the increase would be limited to 2.9% until the middle of this year. France's nuclear watchdog this month ordered EDF Energy to improve safety at nuclear plants following last year's Fukushima disaster. EDF Energy Chief Executive Officer Henri Proglio has said the work would cost less than 10 billion euros ($13 billion). The price at which EDF Energy sells wholesale nuclear power to rivals is sufficient to allow the utility to pay for work to improve safety at nuclear reactors, Industry Minister Eric Besson said in November.