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Evolution of Global Electricity Markets by Fereidoon P. Sioshansi

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Chapter 3

The French Paradox

Competition, Nuclear Rent, and Price Regulation

Jacques Percebois,    University of Montpellier I Head of CREDEN

1 Introduction

The French power sector has a special status in Europe for two reasons: its proportion of nuclear energy is very high, around 75%, and the price of electricity is low by European standards and remains largely controlled by the government—at least when it comes to households (Percebois and Wright, 2001). The prices for industrial customers are even more strongly controlled by government, but this should be partially phased out by 2015. As described by Boltz in Chapter 8, recent directives to open national markets to competition, imposed by European Commission (EC), have already changed many things: ...

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