Blueprint for French energy "revolution"

Green MP's report suggests rising but variable fuel taxes, feed-in support for renewables

The French government should commit to reducing national energy intensity by 16% and increasing renewable electricity generation to 21% by 2010, says a report to prime minister Lionel Jospin published yesterday. The report is expected to inform the government as it prepares to issue a national energy efficiency plan and legislation to promote renewable energy (ENDS Daily 12 September).

Green MP Yves Cochet makes no reference to the government's decision last week to cut oil taxes in the face of popular unrest (ENDS 6 September). His report recommends increasing fossil fuel taxes, but with a radical twist: tax rates should trend upwards but vary according to crude oil prices, rising when they are low and falling when they rise, Mr Cochet suggests. A three-year national tax plan published at the end of August promised to introduce some type of flexibility to fuel taxation.

The report also suggests a new tax on electric heating, financial aid for improved insulation in homes, more funding for rail freight and public transport as well as mandatory 130 kilometres per hour speed limiters on all cars.

On renewable energy, Mr Cochet says that France should adopt a "feed-in" system of price supports, similar to Germany, in a bid to increase the pace of the sector's growth. Feed-in systems have been very effective in Germany and Spain in boosting renewables, but are frowned on by EU competition authorities.

Follow Up:
French prime minister's office, tel: +33 1 42 75 8000; Mr Cochet's report

Please sign in to access this article. To subscribe, view our subscription options, or take out a free trial.

Please enter your details

Forgotten password?

Having trouble signing in?

Contact Customer Support at
or call 020 8267 8120

Not a subscriber?

Take a free trial now to discover the critical insights and updates our coverage offers subscribers.