206. FRANCE: FOSSIL-FREE TRAIN SYSTEM BY 2026
As we have seen, the French are already capable of meeting all their domestic electricity needs with nuclear power. They continue to be a leader in the post-oil transition with yesterday's announcement:
JACQUES CHIRAC, the French President, has stolen a march on Tony Blair's proposed energy review by pledging that no train in his country would be powered by conventional fossil fuels by 2026.SourceOnce you've got a 100% nuclear transport backbone, your country is pretty much out of the woods. Movement of people and goods is no longer dependent on oil, and there's really no way for oil price hikes or shortages to cause transportation breakdown. If anything, oil/gas problems will just drive further intensive growth of the fossil-free network.
This is a revealing comment from the article:
Gerard Mestrallet, chairman of Suez, the utilities group, was equally supportive. He said: "For Europe nuclear energy is a response to the gas crisis."This shows how unimportant fossil fuels really are. When Europe was confronted with the specter of Russia cutting their gas off, it did not lead to attempts to hoard gas or wage resource war on Russia -- as though natural gas were air and Europe would die without it. Because this is a strategic geopolitical issue, and politicians care about such issues, they made their mind up in a weekend, and decided to switch. As they follow through, oil and NG will become increasingly irrelevant.
-- by JD