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France Announces Ambitious Plan To Cut Hydrocarbon Dependence And Emissions

Emmanuel Macron has announced a plan to reduce the dependence of France on oil, gas, and coal and reduce national emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030.

To do this, France would need to double down on emission reduction efforts quite literally: so far, the country has been cutting emissions at an annual rate of 2% over the past five years, the AP reports, but must now boost this to 5%.

“This whole strategy will enable us to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, essentially coal, oil and gas... from 60% to 40% by 2030,” the French President said.

As part of the work, France will close its last two coal power plants and convert them to biomass generators, essentially replacing coal with wood and other organic matter. Plans also involve stepping up EV purchases and having more people switch to heat pumps.

These are all challenging targets and Macron acknowledged that. To make EVs affordable for most French citizens, for instance, Macron said they would be best produced at home, including their batteries. This is yet to happen.

Plans are ambitious: one million locally produced electric vehicles by 2027 and four battery plants are the focus of the push. Also, to make EVs affordable even for France’s poorest, the government plans to offer EVs on a monthly lease basis that would cost drivers around $100 per month.

It does not end there, however. In addition to at least a million EVs on French roads in four years, the French President also spoke fondly of heat pumps.

These, he said, were "a fabulous lever for substitution, with much lower energy consumption and emissions." Heat pumps have many fans in political circles in European capitals but not that many fans among the voters who put those there.

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The proper installation of a heat pump is a costly endeavor requiring a complete overhaul of the house where it would be used in order to ensure maximum efficiency. Failing that, heat pumps often underperform, resulting in higher electricity bills, leading to complaints.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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