Three French companies have emerged as the most prolific venture capital dealmakers for new energy technologies as the country starts to seek out low-polluting alternatives for its aging nuclear reactors. Engie SA, Demeter Partners SA and Total SA participated in more green-energy deals than any other venture capital firms last year, according to the most recent data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. While the $62.3 million that French funds put into the industry is a fraction of the overall $7.5 billion VCs invested in green energy, the number of deals indicates a budding community of early-stage financiers outside Silicon Valley. Even as Electricite de France SA seeks to prolong the lives of aging nuclear reactors, the leading presidential contender is pushing for a shift toward renewables and companies are gearing up to make bigger investments in wind and solar farms. The VC funds are backing technologies that modernize the power grid to cope with power supplies that vary with the weather and can accommodate more electric mobility.
Bloomberg 3rd May 2017 read more »
French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron may delay plans to reduce the share of nuclear power in the French power mix and is considering a UK-style subsidy mechanism to build new nuclear reactors, a source close to the Macron campaign team said. EDF shares jumped as much as 5 percent in heavy trading on the news, boosting the company’s market value by about one billion euros, before closing 3.7 percent higher. An official spokesman for Macron said the candidate would stick to the policy outlined in his campaign platform, which specifies he would respect the outgoing socialist government’s target to reduce the share of nuclear in French power production to 50 percent by 2025 from about 75 percent now. Relaxing the deadline for reducing the country’s reliance on nuclear power would be highly beneficial for state-owned EDF (EDF.PA), already struggling with high debt, which otherwise could be forced to close more than a dozen of its 58 reactors. A new subsidy mechanism for new nuclear plants would also allow the utility to build reactors at home in the coming decades, and could become an issue in an election campaign where energy has been overshadowed by globalisation and immigration.
Reuters 3rd May 2017 read more »