free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 206. FRANCE: FOSSIL-FREE TRAIN SYSTEM BY 2026

Friday, January 06, 2006


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.Source
Once 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


At Friday, January 6, 2006 at 7:58:00 PM PST, Blogger Wildwell said...

The French have done it by the book as far as I'm concerned, let this be a model how everyone else should go.

1. Get off foreign sources of energy as much as possible.

2. As peak oil is a liquid transport crisis, secure the backbone of your transport network and run it on a fossil free basis. You then cushion yourself from complete breakdown. The network is also plugged into the UK, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland the rest of Europe and toward Asia and Russia.

3. Toll your main roads, leave them in private hands. Let the market sort out the luxury private travel market.

At Friday, January 6, 2006 at 10:19:00 PM PST, Blogger James Aach said...

If you wish to better understand nuclear energy use in the western world, you might want to check out the new techno-thriller novel about the American nuclear power industry, written by a longtime nuclear engineer (me). This book provides an entertaining and accurate portrait of the nuclear industry today and how a nuclear accident would be handled. It is called “Rad Decision”, and is at There is no cost to readers.

At Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 12:01:00 AM PST, Blogger Chris Vernon said...

I don't really understand Chirac's comment. As far as I'm aware France's trains are already virtually FF free. I've never been on a French train that wasn't electric and I've been to France a dozen times in the last couple of years. We know that hardly any FF are used for electricity in France so what's Chirac saying? In 20 years we'll replace those two old diesel-electrics operating out of Nice? Big deal.

At Sunday, January 8, 2006 at 12:21:00 AM PST, Blogger Roland said...

It's also about where the electricity is sourced from. I guess it means that for every unit of electricity used by the trains they'll generate the same amount from nuclear power. Although I still don't get why that will take until 2026. Maybe there are still some diesel powered freight trains??

At Sunday, June 17, 2007 at 5:11:00 PM PDT, Blogger Felix said...

France is certainly a leader in the way to get rid of fosil fuels. 70% of their energy is nuclear, the rest being hydroelectric. I cant wait until they decide to scrap them althogeter and switch to electric cars.

Oil will then be saved for planes (which only use 7% of the world oil supply) until biodiesel replace it once and for all.

If the worlds crashes into the stone age at least france will remain, ready to colonice it.


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