* EDF plans talks on regulation with new French government
* CFO says Macron energy mix targets are "long term"
* Utility wants review of forced sales to competitors
(Adds Girre comments, detail on Macron programme)
By Geert De Clercq
PARIS, May 9 French utility EDF hopes
for UK-style subsidies for the construction of new nuclear
plants in France and expects that President-elect Emmanuel
Macron's plan to reduce the share of nuclear in the French power
mix is a "long-term" plan.
EDF chief financial officer Xavier Girre said on an earnings
call with analysts on Tuesday that EDF would discuss power
market regulation with Macron's team "in order to set a right,
positive and fair set of regulations for our industry".
"Regulation is absolutely key, and I am very optimistic that
we will be in a position to discuss these matters in depth
with the new administration," Girre said.
He said state-owned EDF was hoping to convince the Macron
government to introduce state subsidies for new nuclear plants,
modelled on the British "Contracts for Difference" (CfD) scheme
under which EDF is planning to build two nuclear reactors in
Hinkley Point, Britain.
"We consider it will be appropriate to discuss a kind of CfD
for future nuclear newbuild in France," Girre said.
For its 18 billion pound (21 billion euros) Hinkley Point
project, EDF has signed a CfD with Britain under which it can
sell power at 92.5 pounds (109.5 euros) per megawatt hour for 35
years. If the market price is above that level, EDF refunds the
difference, if it is below that level it receives a top-up.
Girre also said that Macron's campaign target to reduce the
share of nuclear in the French energy mix to 50 percent by 2025
from about 75 percent today was a "long-term" target and that
his plans for CO2 floor price should be positive for the
"His programme and public statements, include the
development of renewables, and a clear target for the energy mix
in the long term and not specifically stated at the 2025
horizon. These points are positive," he said.
Last week EDF shares jumped about 8 percent over two days
after a source close to the Macron campaign team told Reuters
that Macron might delay his plans to reduce the share of nuclear
power in the French power mix and was considering a UK-style
subsidy mechanism for new nuclear.
An official spokesman for Macron said later that he would
stick to the policy outlined in his campaign platform.
Girre said that EDF also wanted to talk to the new
government about the ARENH mechanism under which it is forced to
sell up to a quarter of its nuclear output to competitors as
part of measures to improve competition in the retail power
"We consider that it is necessary and fair to reform the
ARENH mechanism in order to prevent it from being as biased as
it is today," he said.
He said EDF hoped that the outcome of the talks would be a
"right, positive and fair set of regulations for our industry".
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain and