The European Union is choosing nuclear. In an interview in the Journal du dimanche published on Sunday January 9, Thierry Breton discusses Brussels’s desire to grant a green label to nuclear energy, and asserts that the Union must invest heavily in new generations of power plants. By 2050, argues the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, the European Union should invest more than 500 billion euros. By then, adds Thierry Breton, already existing nuclear power plants should require an investment of 50 billion euros, this time by 2030.
On December 31, the European Commission unveiled a green labeling project for nuclear and gas power plants, which aims to facilitate the financing of installations contributing to the fight against climate change. This classification, or “taxonomy”, defines areas of investment that will benefit from green labels. However, the European objective of carbon neutrality in 2050 involves the mobilization of colossal investments: the taxonomy is designed to allow financing on favorable terms to be obtained. For Thierry Breton, “including nuclear in the taxonomy is therefore crucial to allow the sector to attract all the capital it will need”.
A new industrial and ecological revolution
“The ecological transition will lead to an industrial revolution on an unprecedented scale. As well as a race for capital between various energy sources – renewable energies alone, for example, will have to mobilize 65 billion euros of investments per year. And it will be necessary to add to that 45 billion annual investments to acquire additional network infrastructure, “he estimated.
While 26% of the electricity produced in the EU today is of atomic origin, he estimates that “nuclear will represent at least 15% of the whole (of the energy mix) by 2050”. The subject is the subject of heated debates among the Twenty-Seven, around ten countries France in the lead actively promoting nuclear power in the face of States very reluctant to the civilian atom, such as Germany or Austria.
The Commission sent its draft text, debated for months and still provisional, to the Member States on December 31. The text sets conditions, in particular a time limit: for the construction of new atomic power stations, projects must have obtained a building permit before 2045.