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Parliamentary questions
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17 March 2016
Question for written answer E-002267-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Françoise Grossetête (PPE) , Alain Lamassoure (PPE) , Angélique Delahaye (PPE) , Anne Sander (PPE) , Michel Dantin (PPE)

 Subject:  Difference in the treatment of hydropower concessions in France and in Europe
 Answer in writing 

Hydroelectricity is a decentralised, locally based form of energy. It provides thousands of jobs that cannot be relocated. In France, hydropower accounts for the second-largest share of electricity generation after nuclear energy, making up 12% of total generation and more than 80% of generation from renewable energy sources. The use of hydraulic energy, which is carbon-free, is fully in line with the EU’s environmental and energy objectives.

In October 2015, however, the Commission sent France a formal letter of notice stating that it would not be renewing France’s hydraulic energy concessions.

1. While a number of Member States with large-scale hydropower production are finding it impossible or very difficult to open the sector up to competition, why has the Commission specifically targeted France, which has acted more quickly than others?

2. Does the Commission not fear that opening up hydropower concessions to competition too quickly would weaken the sector — which accounts for nearly 13% of electricity generation in the EU — put jobs at risk and discourage investment in the sector?

Original language of question: FR 
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