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[en] The principal peaceful application of nuclear energy is that of electricity generation. The nuclear industry is a young one, which is today confronted with difficult choices, essentially because this activity generates fear. This fear is partly related to the generation of electricity in power plants but is particularly present in relation to the transport, reprocessing, management and underground disposal of nuclear waste. This paper examines, respectively, the nuclear technologies available today (1), the future perspectives for nuclear energy on a worldwide basis (2) and the controversial question of the management of nuclear waste and the insurability of risks (3). Nuclear energy can be considered as an alternative to fossil fuels in the context of policies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The potential technological progress is a key element of the future of nuclear energy; but the crux of the problem remains the long-term management of waste
[en] The author first outlines some fundamental characteristics of the different energy world markets (oil, natural gas, coal, electricity). He outlines their availability, locations, and different main geographical areas. Then, he discusses the relationships between costs and prices in which intervene external costs, taxes, feed-in tariffs, national regulations, incentives for consumers. He discusses the issue of regulation of some energy activities, i.e. how State may or may not intervene on the markets, how competition may influence the market, how activities can thus be divided (production, transport, distribution) with implications and consequences for prices. He finally outlines concerns about the future financing of investments required to face tomorrow's needs
[en] After having proposed an overview of the consequences of the opening of utilities to competition on accounting, legal and organisational aspects, and a recall of the meaning of the progressive implementation of European directives, this study more particularly addresses the setting of access charges and of third party access pricing. The authors first discuss the theoretical precepts which can be applied to and by the network manager, by examining the different options: a negotiated or regulated third-party network access (ATR), choice between cost-plus and price-cap, distribution of the access charge between the consumer and the provider or between reserved capacity and channelled quantity, taking or not the distance between provider and consumer into account, space differentiation of tariffs, time-seasonality differentiation of prices, a minimum contractual period, treatment of congestion problems. The second part describes the situation of the third-party network access in France and lessons learned from Anglo-Saxon countries: first ATR pricing of gas and electricity in France, lessons from Anglo-Saxon gas industries
[en] The author proposes a history of energy by examining the roles played by some more or less known, or even forgotten characters who had a major influence on the evolutions of the world of energy, who were pioneers but all had a tragic fate (they died in accidents, were murdered or disappeared in mysterious conditions). These characters are Emilie du Chatelet (kinetic energy and the square of the speed), Lavoisier and Lebon (gas at all storeys), Stanley Jevons (the man who feared coal depletion), Samuel Insull (the fallen magnate of electricity), Diesel (a humanistic inventor), Mohammad Mossadegh (the power to oil producing countries), Lise Meitner (the forgotten one of nuclear fission), Conrad Kilian (the inventor of the Saharan oil), Enrico Mattei (the most powerful Italian since Julius Caesar), Valeri Legassov (the disheartened scientist), and Frank Ramsey (in the search for the optimal electric power price)
[en] This report proposes an analysis of different scenarios of energy policy for France by 2050, notably by studying four options of evolution of electricity supply in France (extension of the present nuclear fleet, speeding up the passage to third generation and even fourth generation nuclear reactors, progressive reduction of nuclear energy, and phasing out nuclear). The report analyses the European and world energy context (main challenges, energy policies in other countries), the challenges of the future French energy mix (present situation, constraints and uncertainties, criteria to be met by 2050), the issue of the French energy mix by 2050 with respect to the different scenarios (in terms of energy demand, energy supply)
[en] There is an on-going debate in France over whether or not it is better to stay with the System actually in place to promote renewable energy penetration, notably wind and solar photovoltaic power in the overall energy mix. This System is one of guaranteed prices with compulsory purchase (feed-in tariffs, FIT); but it is increasingly called into question because of the perverse impacts that have become evident. (author)
[en] This study first outlines why relationships between the EU and its neighbours are not that simple as far as energy is concerned: lack of an actual European policy of energy, different situations of neighbouring countries as some are energy importers and other exporters, existing interdependence and collaboration but with no agreement regarding objectives on the long term. Thus, within this context, this study reports an analysis of EU's energy choices, examines existing partnerships and those being developed between the EU and its neighbours. The last part aims at highlighting that, despite common problems, solutions may diverge depending on the regions.
[en] Renewable, environmentally friendly and evenly distributed across the globe, renewable energy (RES for Renewable Energy Resources) is an excellent means of taking up the global energy challenge, i.e. enabling developing countries in the south to make progress without harming the environment. Since it is particularly well suited to an island territory's character and local needs, RE is also an excellent tool that could enable France's overseas Departments and Territories to reduce their energy dependence, preserve their environment and ensure their sustainable development. In Reunion, RES benefit from marked political support and from a very favourable financial and institutional environment, which has allowed the Reunion region to become a national pioneer in the realm of thermal energy and photovoltaics. Nonetheless, RES are not a panacea as they are subject to a number of flaws. It is currently expensive and uncompetitive, intermittent and insufficiently powerful, and not always available to keep up with demand. This explains why RES cannot aspire to be a complete substitute for fossil fuels. The two energy systems complement one another to meet the region's total energy needs. This article also highlights the negative consequences of the support measures for RES (inflated costs and negative prices on the electricity markets) and underscores the need for a complementary energy policy in pricing electricity, as well as effecting energy savings, which must remain our priority. (authors)
[en] After having outlined that the decision to develop the French nuclear reactor fleet after the first oil crisis has been a successful one, the author notices that the context is now completely different. He proposes an overview of these changes: electricity markets are now opened to competition; the French State can be considered as a failing shareholder; a competition emerged between Areva and EDF, and the new and more coherent organisation will cost a lot to EDF and Areva; the energy strategy adopted by public authorities has not always been consistent, induced some chaotic evolutions of electricity prices, and created another financial burden for EDF (prices do not follow costs any longer); nuclear energy seems to become a back-up for renewable energies; EDF faces a huge amount of investments while being heavily indebted; EDF share value lost 69 per cent between 2015 and 2016; nuclear industry remains a strategic industrial stake (this is the case for investments in the UK with the Hinkley Point project, and in China); the French State must therefore clearly define its choices
[en] Electricity is a merchandise as well as a public service. It is sold through a network which is interconnected at the European level and which requires a specific management. It is also a product which cannot be stored at large scale and at acceptable costs with the present technologies. However, electric power is not a merchandise like any other. If it is no exception to market rules, and, as outlined by the author, its management depends on political decisions for its production as well as for network organisation. In this note, the author thus explores the peculiarities of this network industry, its evolutions between a 'market wave' (a liberalisation still framed by a strong regulation with a progressive opening to competition and some exceptions to competition rules) and a 'green wave' (an expensive option which disturbs the market with notions like mandatory purchase and negative prices). All this leads to reform perspectives under societal, economic, technological and institutional uncertainties.