Hollande on the ropes as French industry faces higher power prices with nuclear in decline

For decades, the French power industry enjoyed a competitive advantage thanks to one of the cheapest electricity prices in Europe, a result of the country’s long-term investment in 58 nuclear reactors. But as shale gas prices slash energy costs in the U.S., and financial breaks to businesses offset the price of energy in Germany, that competitive advantage is being eroded, Bloomberg reports.

EDF’s nuclear reactors in France—the most nuclear power reliant country on earth—will require billions of euros in upgrades in coming years. This, combined with installment of more costly renewable energy infrastructure, is pushing electricity prices up in France, which has seen more job losses than any other European country in the past decade and is facing a record high trade deficit. Analysts predict the price of power for big industrial users in France will average up to 25 percent higher next year than in neighboring Germany, according to Bloomberg.

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