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French Member Committee

The French Council of Energy is the World Energy Council French National Committee. Its members are leading French companies, organizations, institutions and associations with an interest in scientific, technical and industrial participation in global energy issues. It represents its members in all international activities of the World Energy Council, in particular during the preparation of the World Energy Congress. The Council considers all matters relating to the provision and use of sustainable energy useful to the activity of the World Energy Council, and monitors and promotes research related to these questions.

Jean-Bernard Lévy was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Group on November 26th, 2014.

From December 2012 to November 2014 he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Thales, a leading electronics and systems industrial group.

From 2002 to 2012, he was at Vivendi, a global communications and digital media company, based in Paris. He was Chief Operating Officer of Vivendi from 2002 to 2005, and CEO from 2005 to 2012.

From 1998 to 2002 he was Managing Partner, Corporate Finance at Oddo & Cie.

From 1995 to 1998 he was Chairman and CEO of Matra Communication.

Jean-Bernard Lévy was General Manager, Communications satellites of Matra Espace and then Matra Marconi Space from 1988 until 1993, when he became Chief of Staff to Gérard Longuet, the French Minister for Industry, Postal Services & Telecommunications and Foreign Trade.

From 1986 to 1988, he was Advisor to Gérard Longuet, the French Minister for Postal and Telecommunications Services.

Jean-Bernard Lévy began his career in 1979 with France Telecom as an engineer in Angers. In 1982, he became responsible for the management of senior staff and budgets, and was later promoted to deputy head of Human Resources.

Jean-Bernard Lévy, 62, is married with four children. He is a graduate of the École Polytechnique (1973) and Télécom ParisTech. He is an officer of the Légion d’Honneur and of the Ordre National du Mérite.

Jean Eudes Moncomble is, since March 2002, secretary-general of the Conseil Français de l’Énergie, the French member committee of the World Energy Council.

Engineer (Ecole Centrale de Paris) and economist, he began his career in 1981 at the Ecole Centrale de Paris where he was appointed professor of Economics and Management in 1985.

He joined the corporate strategy division of Electricité de France - EDF (General Economic Studies) in 1992. Head of department in 1995, he was in charge of various issues, in addition of economic and energy issues: electricity markets, energy companies’strategy, generation, environment, regulation. 

At the European level, he chairs the Sustainability Board of the CEEP (European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services and Services of general interest,). He is member of several associations in the energy field or in the economics field; he is member of the Board of the French Economic Association and ensures several lectures in universities or “grandes écoles”. He is the chief editor of the bimonthly publication La Revue de l’Énergie.

Energy in France 

france, critical uncertainties, action priorities

France offers a focused energy landscape where the main uncertainties relate to Middle East Dynamics and Climate Framework. Other uncertainties include Extreme Weather Risks, Electric Storage, Renewable Energies and Energy Pricing. Action Priorities focus on Energy Efficiency, Affordability and Access as well as LNG and Talent.

Climate Framework continues to lead the Critical Uncertainties section. In November 2019, a new law focused on energy and climate change raised the target of reducing fossil fuel consumption from 30% to 40% of its 2012 levels by 2030. The law also supports hydrogen and solar panel deployments to achieve a 33% share of renewables in the energy mix by 2033.

Renewable Energies are an important Critical Uncertainty. In early 2019, France was among eight countries to be given formal notice by the EU for hydropower policies that run contrary to EU rules. Considering the importance of hydro for overall storage capacity and electricity supply in the country (around 10%), as well as their association with energy security in the public debate, renewable energies are increasingly perceived as uncertain.

Middle East Dynamics move higher up the gradient of uncertainty, reflecting France’s dependence on imports to meet its oil and gas requirements. This is true even though liquid fuels make up a relatively small percentage of the country’s primary energy consumption. Saudi Arabia and Russia are the two main suppliers of crude oil. Yet, French companies have oil and gas assets in several Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq.

Energy Affordability is also seen as an issue of greater impact and enters the Action Priorities section. Low-income households benefit from state assistance to pay their energy bills. Still, public confidence in the energy sector has fallen from 75% in 2015 to 60% in 2019, as reported in a recent French Energy Ombudsman survey. The government’s plan to raise fuel prices as part of its environmental policy has led to massive protests throughout the country, prompting a withdrawal of the proposed price increase.

Energy Efficiency persists as an Action Priority, although its impact is seen as lower than in previous surveys. The role of cities is also identified as an Action Priority, showing the integration of local authorities in the energy transition. Certain technologies are also emerging as uncertainties, albeit with limited impact.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Hydrogen Economy are seen as highly uncertain, but still with limited impact. The long-term strategy includes wider use of CCS by 2050 as part of the effort to curb carbon emissions. It also sees a higher penetration of hydrogen in transport for which financial incentives will be offered. France intends to decarbonise industrial production of hydrogen to limit emissions by 10% by 2023.

The evolution of the issues assessment is also very interesting and can be done by comparing the raw data relating to two successive surveys: the published one and the one of the previous year. The first message, deduced from the superposition of the two graphs, is that, “on average”, the clouds are relatively stable. This has not always been the case. In early 2010, for instance, the Issues Survey identified significant shifts in energy leaders’ perceptions, revealing an increase in uncertainty. If we look more closely at the main categories of the survey, we see a horizontal shift to the right of geopolitical issues, which are therefore perceived as increasingly important: this is the case, for example, with US policy. Still compared to the previous year, the examination reveals, with few exceptions, an increase in uncertainty related to technologies with sometimes significant developments, for example for carbon capture and storage, LNG or urbanisation which, as we have seen, is becoming a cause of insomnia. The issue of renewable energies is considered to have a lower impact but is more uncertain. Among the relatively stable issues are nuclear and storage, but also coal. Finally, some issues such as digitalisation, non-conventional hydrocarbons or sustainable transport are considered more uncertain for an unchanged impact. 

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World Issues Monitor
World Issues Monitor
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Energy Trilemma ranking
Energy Trilemma ranking
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