* LREM’s Orphelin: reduce nuclear share “little by little” (Adds minister quotes and ruling party MP comment)
By Geert De Clercq
PARIS, Dec 5 (Reuters) - France will reduce the share of nuclear energy in its electricity mix “as soon as possible”, French junior environment minister Brune Poirson said on Tuesday, although she did not give a target date.
Last month, the French government dropped a legal target set by the previous government to reduce the share of nuclear to 50 percent by 2025, from 75 percent today.
“We want to reach this objective. Our method will be to be as realistic as possible,” Poirson told reporters at the annual conference of the UFE power lobby.
She said she could not give a new date as the government was drawing up a new multi-year or “pluriannual” energy plan (PPE) that will set a new trajectory for the French electricity mix.
“The PPE...will lay out how we increase the share of renewable energy in our electricity mix and little by little reduce the share of nuclear,” she said.
Matthieu Orphelin, a member of parliament for President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling LREM party and an energy specialist and former spokesman for environment minister Nicolas Hulot, said everybody knew the 2025 target was not achievable.
He added he expected the share of nuclear will be cut to 50 percent between 2025 and 2030.
“What counts is that we end our total dependence on nuclear as soon as possible after 2025. Whether that is 2027 or 2028 is not important,” he said at the UFE conference.
He said France must irreversibly get on a path to use energy more efficiently, to use more renewable energy and thus mechanically reduce its reliance on nuclear energy.
“We are finally dropping the myth that nuclear energy will forever be the cheapest energy in the world,” he said. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)