Towards a takeover of GE turbines by EDF: “Good news”, greets Barbara Pompili

“It’s good news”greeted Barbara Pompili, Minister of Ecological Transition, this Tuesday on franceinfo, as EDF prepares to validate the purchase of General Electric turbines. “This means that we recover under the French flag the nuclear skills over the entire cycle. In particular on these turbines which are technological marvels and which are necessary to be able to manufacture nuclear power plants”.

It was Emmanuel Macron who decided to sell these turbines to General Electric. “In 2014, we were not at all in the same sequence. We had not yet made the Paris agreements, we had not committed to a very strong acceleration of the decarbonization of our economy which changes the game on nuclear. At the time, Alstom (which was sold to GE) was on this nuclear part and that risked involving the whole group.” The decision to sell taken by Emmanuel Macron allowed Alstom “to refocus on transport. General Electric has made it possible to maintain competence in turbines. Now that we need to decarbonize faster, it makes sense to bring turbines back into the hands of EDF.” Another advantage, according to her: “Jobs in Belfort will be perpetuated.” Emmanuel Macron must also go there on Thursday.

If these decisions are made now, it is because “we have a number of deadlines coming up and which are being preparedexplained Barbara Pompili. Our multi-annual energy program will be renewed from next year.”

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, France “must reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Today, two thirds of the energy we spend comes from fossil fuels. To reduce fossil fuels, we will need more electricity. Within 10- 15 years we will need 15% more electricity, RTE says so. These are major policies that require heavy investment.”

Emmanuel Macron wants to bet on nuclear power. This choice does not bother Barbara Pompili, a former environmental activist. “The environmental activist, who I am still, absolutely wants to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement because we need it to ensure the future of our children.” This does not mean that it is converted to nuclear power, but that it “is pragmatic”she insisted.

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