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French minister aims to update energy regulation by 2025

(Montel) France’s newly appointed energy and industry minister Roland Lescure plans to pass a new bill on energy targets and updating the Arenh rate “by the end of the year”, he told local broadcaster France 3 on Sunday.

“The current power regulation runs until 2025, so there’s no rush. We’re going to take our time to make sure we have a good law that protects us all and allows us to invest,” he said, referring to the Arenh rate that requires EDF to sell part of its nuclear output to alternative suppliers at EUR 42/MWh.

However, he said the content of the bill would depend on its negotiations with members of Parliament as his ruling Renaissance party lost its parliamentary majority in 2022.

The government has stalled over plans to adopt new energy targets – such as an additional 23 GW nuclear capacity by 2050 – and to finalise details of the deal struck between EDF and the government on nuclear sales in November, fearing parliament may reject them.

The agreement reached with the state-owned firm introduced a tax on EDF’s nuclear revenues from sales of its nuclear output on the wholesale market to replace Arenh by 2026.

Lescure said certain elements of the plan must be introduced via legislation, which required parliamentary approval, but, according to energy lawyers, other aspects could bypass parliament.