The French government just announced a plan to power 95 percent of the country with solar and wind energy by 2060. And by doing so, the government would spend about $44.5 billion (39 billion euros) less than it would if it maintained its current energy infrastructure.
To get there, the government would need to cancel plans to construct 15 new nuclear power plants, and instead replace its aging nuclear reactors with renewable infrastructure over the next several decades, according to a new report published Monday by the French environmental agency.
Slow and Steady
The report details how France could increase its dependence on solar and wind energy over time, gradually shutting down nuclear power plants to make room for renewables.
But doing so will still be costly: the report suggests that developing these new power plants as well as the necessary infrastructure to support them will cost the government $1.45 trillion (1.28 trillion euros) over the next 42 years. That’s a huge investment, but it’s still much cheaper than maintaining the status quo and replacing the country’s aging nuclear power plants with more modernized reactors.