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Electricity, a new ambition for France

The world is experiencing such a deep and vast transformation period, that one can easily talk about “a revolution”. UFE published its “Ambition for France” to remind that electricity is at the heart of this revolution and represents a key asset for France.

The world is experiencing such a deep and vast transformation period, that one can easily talk about “a revolution”. UFE published its “Ambition for France” to remind that electricity is at the heart of this revolution and represents a key asset for France.

The energy-related transformations are at once environmental, technologic, economic and societal, and gaining increasing momentum. One often sums it up as “3D”:

  • Decarbonisation: To hold climate change up, which is a major threat to ecosystems and habitats, fossil fuels are ever more replaced by low-carbon energy sources, in particular by renewables whose resources are nearly unlimited.
  • Digitalisation: In every field, “smart” technologies enabled by digital innovation provide new services, thus shaking up traditional business models.
  • Decentralisation: Local communities appear as the relevant scale to implement solutions for tomorrow and to meet the aspirations of citizens and consumers.

This revolution is obviously energy-focused, because after the coal age and the oil age, electricity will be one of the key vehicles towards this three-dimensional movement. But as every revolution, it will have consequences far beyond the energy sector, and might reset the whole economic activity, modify consumption standards, improve the quality of the environment, and therefore involves everyone – individuals, companies, politicians.

A major shift for the world economy is under way and France has the assets to make it a success

Jobs of tomorrow are already at stake today, and depend on the ability for France to position itself among the leaders of this worldwide industrial revolution. Some jobs will experience lasting changes and others will arise. Thanks to its history, France is one of the few countries to have recognized expertise and leading companies in all the segments of the electric sector: a low-carbon portfolio thanks to renewable and nuclear energies, a high-quality network which will help the energy transition, development of innovative services for energy efficiency, a “natural” fit between electricity and digital technology… So many assets to lead this 3D-revolution in France and to export our savoir-faire in a world where substantive energy needs still have to be met.

As major political steps are expected in 2017 in France and in Europe, UFE is making several recommendations:

With the debates about the structural European provisions in the “Clean Energy Package”, as well as the French presidential election, 2017 appears as a pivotal year. For the yet-started revolution to be as positive as possible, UFE, in its “Ambition for France”, recommends to follow 5 major orientations:

  • Make fight against global warming a priority reflected in every public policy tools and for every economic sectors,
  • Put the consumer at the focus of concern, in particular through bill management and effective fight against energy poverty,
  • Facilitate technological transformations of the electric sector, in particular in the fields of digitalisation, storage and flexibility,
  • Lead socioeconomic transformations with a cross-sectorial view of mutations, in particular with a prospective vision on jobs,
  • Reinforce the role of France in Europe, to establish a framework providing the visibility necessary for investors in the midand in the long-term to ensure security of supply.

Over the next few weeks, UFE will publish a certain number of notes, which will specify different operational propositions corresponding to the 5 foregoing positions, in order to stimulate discussion around those structural topics in many respects.

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