Shale Gas and France's Energy Policy Debate: Only Getting Started
Although President Hollande’s comments on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in France may prima facie appear as the government's final word on the matter, we believe they are just the beginning of a crucial debate on energy policy in France, with implications for the rest of the European energy space. Fracking appears likely to remain banned under his tenure. However we see several factors that will force the government to reconsider and even soften its stance on the matter, if not outright reverse it (although the latter is not our core scenario at this point). Macroeconomic realities, loss of ageing base load capacity, opposition to new nuclear, and balancing energy security realities with energy policy goals will bring the issue of indigenous resources (including shale gas) back on the table.
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