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ENERGY

France’s EDF seals deal for UK nuclear plants

French energy giant EDF has sealed a multi-billion euro deal with the British government to construct two new nuclear reactors in the UK, according to a joint statement from EDF and the UK government.

France's EDF seals deal for UK nuclear plants
French energy giant EDF said Monday it had won a deal worth £16 billion pounds (€18.9 billion) to build two nuclear reactors in Britain. Photo: François Nasimbeni/AFP

French energy giant EDF said Monday it had won a deal worth £16 billion pounds (€18.9 billion) to build two nuclear reactors in Britain.

"This deal means £16 billion of investment coming into the country and the creation of 25,000 jobs," said British Prime Minister David Cameron in a joint EDF-British government press release.

Two Chinese nuclear firms, CGNPC and CNNC, are expected to take a 30-40 percent stake between them, the statement added.

French energy firm Areva will provide the two EPRs or European Pressurized Reactors, taking a 10-percent stake in the project.

If the deal is confirmed next year, the power station, in south-west England, will be up and running by 2023, the statement said.

"Today we have a deal for the first nuclear power station in a generation to be built in Britain," added Cameron.

"This also marks the next generation of nuclear power in Britain, which has an important part to play in contributing to our future energy needs and our longer term security of supply."

The accord also agrees a guaranteed price for the energy produced by the two reactors, which had been a major sticking point in the negotiations between the firm and the government in London.

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ENERGY

France increases to €9,000 grants for property owners

A French scheme to provide financial aid to property owners seeking to replace oil and gas boilers with eco-friendly alternatives has been extended, with grants of up to €9,000 now available.

France increases to €9,000 grants for property owners

The French government will increase the amount of money available to replace gas and oil-powered boilers through the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme, part of a package of measures announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex on Wednesday

Environment Minister Barbara Pompili said that from April 15th, some households would be able to benefit from an extra €1,000 to “accelerate the replacement of fossil fuel-powered boilers with renewable heating solutions”, such as heat pumps and biomass heaters. 

It will no longer be possible to use state funding to replace a gas boiler with another, more efficient gas boiler. 

This brings the total state aid available for replacing boilers up to €9,000. 

Who can benefit? 

The funding for boiler replacement is available through the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme – which is available to anyone who owns property in France. 

Applicants for funding do however need a French numéro fiscal (tax number) and a copy of their latest tax declaration, which means those who do not file the annual tax declaration in France are effectively excluded. 

You can only apply for funding if your property is more than two years old. 

The amount of money you could receive depends on a range of criteria including: household income; the number of people living in the household; and the location of the property. 

You can read more about the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme HERE

Why is the government doing this? 

The move essentially allows France to faire d’une pierre deux coups – hit two birds with one stone.

One one hand, it will allow the country to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions in the face of the global climate crisis. 

On the other, it allows France to reduce its dependency on Russian gas – which has become a government priority ever since the invasion of Ukraine.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government would target and end to dependency on Russian energy by 2027. The construction of new nuclear plants announced in February will also assist in reaching this objective.

You can read more about the government’s measures to insulate the French economy from the war in Ukraine HERE

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