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France’s CRE unveils forecast on nuclear power costs over the period 2026-2040

The French energy regulator, Commission de Régulation de l’Energie (CRE), has calculated the complete production cost of France’s existing nuclear fleet, taking into account several cost components, over the period 2026-2040. The full cost of existing nuclear power calculated by the CRE amounts to respectively €60.7/MWh over the period 2026-2030, €59.1/MWh over 2031-2035, and €57.3/MWh over 2036-2040 (in 2022 euros).

The CRE has also calculated an accounting cost of production excluding extra-accounting costs, below which EDF must be considered to be remunerated below its normal remuneration level. The accounting cost of existing nuclear production calculated by the CRE amounts to respectively €57.8/MWh over the period 2026-2030, €56.5/MWh over 2031-2035, and €54.9/MWh over 2036-2040.

The CRE retained several hypotheses in its analysis, notably that the considered nuclear power generation trajectory amounts to 361.5 TWh/year over 2026-2030, 360.2 TWh/year over 2031-2035 and 344.1 TWh/year over 2036-2040. CRE also bets on an extension of the lifespan of the historic French nuclear fleet to 60 years and on the removal of the objective of 50% of nuclear power in the electricity mix in 2035 (a target unveiled in a June 2023 law).

This forecast by CRE comes as the French government and the state-owned power utility EDF have reached an agreement on the sale price of nuclear power as of 2026, to replace the existing ARENH tariff that will expire at end-2025. Under the terms of the agreement, EDF will offer its entire nuclear power generation to alternative suppliers at a price of €70/MWh.