France has no plans to exit European Union power price mechanisms, French Environment Minister Christophe Bechu said on Tuesday, but gave no details on how France would "take back control of power prices" as President Emmanuel Macron said it would do.
Macron said on Monday that France's fleet of nuclear plants and the recent re-nationalisation of nuclear utility EDF would help France achieve its goal of taking back control of electricity prices by year-end and that he would make announcements about this in October.
In an interview with franceinfo radio, Bechu said that EDF was no longer in a situation where its power generation capacity was crimped by major works on its nuclear plants and draught impacting its hydropower output.
Asked whether taking back control of power prices meant exiting EU-regulated power price formation mechanisms, Bechu said "no, it means that once we again become an exporter of energy, we will be able to fix a price in France, with at the same time a change in European rules and by using the fact that operator EDF is a national operator," he said.
Asked for more detail about how France would control power prices, Bechu said "the president of the republic, the government will specify the way in which we will take back control of power prices". He did not elaborate further.
On Monday, an Elysee official said that taking back control of power prices could be achieved via a French energy law and that this would be done without waiting for reform in the works at European Union level to be wrapped up.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq Editing by Ingrid Melander and Louise Heavens)