May 22, 2022

an electric report from “Complément d’Enquête”

The well-documented investigation by Sylvain Pak and Thomas Lhoste, “EDF: a giant under tension”, draws up this Thursday evening on France 2 an alarming inventory of the French group.

As it celebrates its 75th anniversary, Électricité de France (EDF) looks gloomy. The company, which has long been the national pride, has to deal with a colossal debt (42 billion euros), an aging nuclear fleet and development strategies that are not always relevant. Above all, the company, which has not been officially public since 2005 but in which the State remains an 80% shareholder, is subject to political decisions and issues. EDF, a giant under pressure, the remarkable investigation by Sylvain Pak and Thomas Lhoste, broadcast in Further investigation this Thursday, January 27, draws up an uncompromising inventory of this French jewel at a crossroads.

The leading electricity producer in Europe is therefore going through a difficult period, widening its record deficit a little more every day. Well helped in this by successive governments accustomed to governing its pricing policy. Latest example to date: the decision of the Castex government to control the rise in tariffs (12% in February, finally capped at 4%), at least until the next tariff movement, in August 2022 (after the elections). An interference far from new, as this investigation reminds us. “We have abandoned all logic in tariff invoicing which has become a political assessment according to electoral deadlines”, testifies a former executive. Without this political opportunism consisting in keeping the tariffs low so as not to offend the voters, the electricity bill would be higher by 40%, underlines the film. A shortfall after which EDF runs without being able to fill it. Investments in the United Kingdom (15 billion euros) or the United States (3 billion) did not pay off. Similarly, we discover how the company has bet everything on nuclear power, snubbing renewable energies, even seen as competitive. Edifying testimonies resonate strongly today.

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