I was going to write something about the new French government’s policies of banning petrol and diesel cars by 2040 and at the same time closing nuclear power stations. But these two tweets from David Rose and Chris Baker say it all.

It’s appropriate that the relevant minister is Monsieur Hulot.


  1. France is the only country with the energy infrastructure (Nuclear) that might actually support electric vehicles. That is because Nuclear has large amounts of available energy at night to charge those batteries. The only problem is that Monsieur Nicolas Hulot wants to close down all nuclear energy!

    L’animateur déclare en mars 2011, à la suite de l’accident nucléaire de Fukushima, être pour l’organisation d’un référendum sur le nucléaire44, puis avoir « la conviction » que la France doit « sortir du nucléaire

    He also seems to dye his hair!

    Macron must be behind the 50% Nuclear target, perhaps to keep Angela Merkel happy. Neither seem to have any clue about power generation or risks.


  2. “Electricite de France SA, the state-controlled operator of 58 nuclear reactors in France, may have to shut as many as 17 to fulfill government plans to reduce the share of atomic power in the country’s electricity output to 50 percent by 2025, Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot said.

    The exact number of shutdowns required isn’t clear because “we haven’t developed everything in our climate plan,” Hulot said Monday on RTL radio. Given the 50 percent target, “everyone can understand that we’ll close a number of reactors to achieve that goal, and not just one.”


    This is not stupid, it’s prime, A grade, quintessential, undiluted, 100% proof, BARKING. France’s energy generation is perfectly suited to reducing CO2 emissions. Most energy is generated by zero carbon nuclear and, as pointed out by Clive above, at present, those nuclear power stations can generate more than enough energy to power a large scale roll out of electric transport. But the ‘Ecology Minister’ wants to dump nuclear for expensive, unreliable, environmentally destructive renewables!

    Please, tell me we have finally reached Peak Stupid. There can’t be more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M. Hulot’s tit (2003):

    The Indie said that this poster was presented without explanation but that M. Hulot said it was ‘intended to warn passers-by that the “very essence” of life is in danger.’ Ah oui! Bien sur! Quoi? (A more obvious reading is surely that Mother Earth has ‘essence’ aplenty.)

    M. Hulot’s 9/11 (2007):

    Like the tit, this also won prizes. (Though not ministerial ones, obvz.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s a lot more to be said about Monsieur Hulot, Minister of Ecology and number three in the French government. His first act was to ban all exploration for fossil fuels in France, thus assuring that all the coal, gas and petrol consumed will be foreign.

    Incidentally the Dutch and Norwegians have gone further and are banning petrol vehicles from 2030. More information on this would be welcome.


  5. Paul,
    I recommend reading Euan Mearn’s latest post: http://euanmearns.com/electrocuted/
    He points out that Macron appointing Hulot is akin to Donald Trump appointing Leonardo de Caprio. A move to electric vehicles would mean France’s energy demand increasing by 40%, so cutting their only reliable energy source is pretty stupid !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of the great names in Automobiles, Volvo, is literally going to destroy itself by dropping out of the internal combustion engine business over the next several years. Climate obsession is a pernicious metastatic social disorder.


  7. “A move to electric vehicles would mean France’s energy demand increasing by 40%…”

    Do you mean electricity demand? Or do you think electric propulsion is less efficient than ICEs?

    Hunter, Volvo is not discarding ICEs altogether. All the same, long term, ICEs are dead and everyone knows it.


  8. Len,
    Electricity demand will increase to all those charge batteries. There are currently 32 million cars in the UK. If each one needs 10 Kwh of energy per day then that equates to 320GWh/day or an average power demand of 13.3 GW. But like everything else, this will reach peak demands of double that. This means generation capacity needs to rise by about 40%. If you also want to ‘decarbonise’ heating by electrifying it then generation capacity needs to at least double. That is 100GW of power, not 50GW.


  9. So you meant electricity demand, not energy demand. The latter would fall, no?


  10. So electrifying transport and heating (France already uses electric heating) reduces energy demand and energy imports (€500bn annually for EU). Fossil lovers must hate that.


  11. That is a banal statement since today French electricity is 80% zero carbon, yet Macron wants to reduce that to 50%. Meanwhile demand rises 40% for electric transport. Can you imagine electric mining, steel production, trade shipping, air transport, fishing, fertilisers and farming?


  12. Increased efficiency by lowering resource usage with no loss of utility doesn’t seem banal to me. It is what productivity growth is all about, after all. And 50% of 140+ is not so very different from 80% of 100. As for electrifying other sectors, some are easier than others, but so what?

    I am pro-nuclear by instinct. I’d assume the French know something about the economics of nuclear but they seem unsure of how much it actually costs. And their experience with their latest reactor does not inspire confidence in there ever being a new generation of reactors on the scale of the 1st.


  13. Converting transport and the remaining heating to electricity and getting rid of existing nuclear power doesn’t compute Len. A bit of “Increased efficiency by lowering resource usage with no loss of utility” doesn’t equal the fleet it’s got now, never mind getting rid of a load of stations. Not to mention the EU countres, including the UK, that are counting on France’s reliable supply for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.


  14. Tiny, I’m not in favour of closing reactors unless they become unsafe (or uneconomic if anyone knows exactly what that means). But they won’t stay open forever and the French are not having great success with the next generation. As I said, 50% of post-electrification demand is about what they have now, so maybe no closures are needed.

    Canman, FPLG looks interesting, but my guess is that range will become less and less an issue as EVs improve incrementally.


  15. OT a bit, but climate audit is active again and has some interesting posts up.


  16. McI should stick to climate. Each time he opines on politics it becomes easier to dismiss him as a right wing nut.


  17. MIAB:

    And every time that Len posts you realise you are talking to a moron

    The other possibility, in this case, is that ‘Len’, despite the moronic trappings, is channeling consensus central at a very high level. One thing they’re desperate about is making sure people stay in the right boxes – what are commonly seen as the left and right boxes – for the purposes of manipulation of all thought and debate. Someone like Steve, who’s willing to go wherever the evidence takes him, is their worst nightmare. We’re talking millions of deaths from needless war saved, that kind of thing. Absolute nightmare.

    I recently gave some examples of this openness to left and right (eg here, here). It’s a subject I believe Cliscep should come back to.


  18. Or for a recent example:

    NB for time nerds: Cliscep uses GMT, Twitter (from where I am) British Summer Time.


  19. Richard it would not surprise me if regulars think that Fox News only goes where the evidence takes them.


  20. LEN MARTINEZ (11 Jul 17 at 10:07 pm)

    I’d assume the French know something about the economics of nuclear

    EDF certainly does, but since they’re majority government owned, they’re not going to tell the French what they know if the government doesn’t want them to. And it wouldn’t make any difference anyway, since there’s only one word in French to translate “policy” and “politics”, and politics demands that a popular TV personality should be minister of Ecology, Transport, Energy, and Everything That Moves, and he doesn’t like nuclear, or fracking, or petrol, or gas imported from horrid horrid Russia, so the race is on to see whether France or South Australia will be first to demonstrate the insanity of Green policies. Watch this space.


  21. Barry, for Fox, read Breitbart or Zero Hedge or any batshit-crazy media that skeptics quote.

    Geoff, they can’t let on because if it turns out that low consumer prices for electricity are down to subsidies, they’d be in trouble with the EU. And people love subsidies, so raising prices would have people on the streets. Out of interest, does the 50% nuclear target apply to current demand or future post-electrification demand?


  22. When was the last time skeptics on Cliscep quoted Breitbart, Zero Hedge or any other media you’d call batshit-crazy?

    For example, in our latest post Paul Matthews begins by quoting the BBC, The Independent, CNN and the Washington Post. I admit there have been times I’ve been tempted to call some of these outfits’ treatment of extreme climate claims batshit-crazy. Mostly I’m too polite. But that’s me.

    Please do clarify what you meant, with examples. Or else we’ll no doubt judge you as having about the same intellectual weight as the little boy in the playground saying “you smell” to those he dislikes.


  23. Oh go on, Richard, even you can manage a search of cliscep for links to Breitbart. Of course you could add the Daily Mail, another popular source, that regulars might well say only goes where the evidence takes them.


  24. LEN MARTINEZ (15 Jul 17 at 7:20 am)
    The 50% nuclear target applies to whatever production will be in 2040. I’ve seen estimates that it will have to be 40% higher to meet demand for charging electric vehicles. But that’s a minor detail beside the fact that getting current wind and solar output up from 3% of total electircity production to 43% (hydro currently provides 6% but can’t go above 7% unless you want to flood all the Alpine valleys) means covering an awful lot of unspoilt hilltops with junk made in China.

    I think Hulot is merely spouting the law already voted in by the previous government. The French have a funny attitude to laws. They vote them in, then they decide at their leisure whether to apply them or not. Only when it’s announced in the Bulletin Officiel does a law come into effect. And that may be tomorrow or never, depending on how they’re feeling.


  25. So 50% of future demand from nuclear, with demand up 40%, equates to about the same nuclear GWh as now.

    Note that electrifying cars means perhaps a Euro 15bn annual saving in fuel imports in France. Note to mention cleaner air in towns and cities. A clear win!


  26. Electric cars for all means zero income from car fuel duty. Who pays to make up for such losses?

    If too many cars in a local area try to charge at the same time, there will be power cuts/failures.


  27. There are no losses. There is just less revenue, but there are always either things to tax or expenditures to cut. And it won’t happen in one fell swoop. As for peak charging, variable pricing is often the tool of preference for such problems.


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