The French Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, announced this Wednesday that the State is going to completely nationalize EDF, something that is justified to guarantee the production of electricity in the face of the consequences of the war in Ukraine with its commitment to nuclear energy. In his general policy speech before the new National Assembly after the legislative elections in June, which marks the true beginning of his government’s journey, Borne has said that the State will have “100%” of the capital of Electricité de France ( EDF), which is in a difficult financial situation, weighed down by heavy debt.
Article 128 of the Constitution: the article that allows the Government to put electricity companies at the service of the general interest
The company, in which the State currently has 84% of the capital, carries a liability of 43,000 million euros at a time when it faces the challenge set by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to put into service from by 2035 six new nuclear reactors, with an estimated cost of at least 52,000 million euros.
This is without forgetting the additional around 50,000 million euros that will be necessary to keep the current atomic park in service, made up of 58 reactors that normally generate 70% of the country’s electricity, but now produce a much lower percentage due to unemployment. of many of them due to maintenance work and detected failures.
The prime minister, who has considered that total nationalization will allow EDF to design “ambitious projects”, has insisted that “the energy transition goes through nuclear energy” which “is a decarbonised, sovereign and competitive energy”. In addition, she has emphasized that her Executive wants to control the production of electricity and “guarantee sovereignty” against the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “We cannot continue to depend on Russian oil and gas,” she has said.
Borne has advanced that in September carbon emission reduction targets will be defined by sectors and by territories. “We want to be and we will be the first great ecological nation that will abandon fossil fuels”, he has announced.
“It is the guarantee of our energy sovereignty, of the preservation of purchasing power”, he indicated before affirming that new industrial activities that generate jobs will be built to replace them. The announcement of the increase in the State’s stake to 100% has had a sudden impact on EDF’s listing on the Paris Stock Exchange. In a few minutes, EDF shares, which had been trading down since the opening of the morning session even below 7.3 euros, have jumped and have gone on to rise about 8% to about 8.6 euros.