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The French should brace for a complete cutoff of Russian natural gas, French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday, Bastille Day, calling on citizens to turn public lights off at night and embrace what he referred to as energy “sobriety”, the Associated Press reported.
Speaking on public television, Macron said that while France is seeking to boost alternative energy sources and new natural gas supplies, tough times lay ahead.
“This war will continue. The summer, early autumn will be very hard,” Macron said, adding that “Russia is using energy, like it is using food, as a weapon of war. We should prepare ourselves for the scenario where we have to go without all Russian gas.”
Among the plans to lessen the blow of a Russian gas cutoff, Macron offered up an energy conservation plan that, among other things, would curtail the use of public streetlights.
The French president is under intensifying pressure from both the country’s far-right and far-left, who hold him accountable for domestic failures to keep consumer prices under control and for his inability–however farfetched–to end Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.
In June general elections, Macron’s government lost its absolute majority in the National Assembly, weakening his position against his opponents.
Macron has vowed to increase the country’s supply of renewable energy. At the same time, he is committed to relying on nuclear power as a permanent solution. The French president is eyeing a 50/50 mix of nuclear power and renewable energy.
In another bid to keep costs down for consumers, France is preparing an energy nationalization plan that will see the government take over the remaining 16% share in the giant EDF power group for more than 8 billion euros, and possibly up to 10 billion euros with debt included, the Guardian reports.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com