French President Emmanuel Macron wants to equip France for the year 2030 with government investments of 30 billion euros in innovation and research.

He presented a roadmap for the “battle for innovation and industrialization”.

Michaela Wiegel

Political correspondent based in Paris.

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Niklas Záboji

Business correspondent in Paris

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One billion euros is to benefit the expansion of civilian nuclear energy.

Macron announced in his speech on Tuesday at the Elysée Palace that he would invest in new, small nuclear power plants, the so-called Small Modular Reactors (SMR).

“They're much safer and produce less waste,” Macron said.

Under the title “Reinventing nuclear power”, he explained that nuclear energy is a clean and low-CO2 energy source.

He announced that state subsidies should flow into new technologies with lower nuclear waste production and better processing.

He sees nuclear power as an area in which France and Europeans should take a leadership role.

"Don't make the same mistake as with renewables"

In view of the record prices for gas and other fossil energy sources, the EU must rely on an independent power supply.

Macron clearly criticized the previous EU strategy on renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics.

"We mustn't make the same mistake as we did with renewable energies," said the head of state. "We have to invest massively in our industrial supply," he demanded.

He announced investments in "green" hydrogen.

France also wants to produce two million electric and hybrid cars by 2030.

The pandemic revealed the European dependencies on global value chains.

The 30 billion plan complements the 100 billion reconstruction plan presented by the government as part of the European Recovery Fund.

Macron justified his announcements with the fact that without massive investments in future technologies, France's economy threatens to lose the connection.

That is his deep conviction.

Deindustrialization must be a thing of the past.

"There are some areas where we as French and Europeans should be leaders," said the French President.

Public investments in disruptive technologies are essential.

Because good ideas shouldn't fail because of funding.

Two million electric and hybrid vehicles by 2030

So-called mini reactors are still a long way off.

From a global perspective, there are around 70 projects.

Whether they will be able to produce electricity as early as 2030 has so far been a matter of dispute among experts.

However, with reference to the invention of the corona vaccines, Macron indicated that a lot of technology could go very quickly.

Macron mentioned nuclear power, hydrogen and electricity production from renewable energy in the same breath.

The latter alone will not be available in sufficient quantities in the coming years to meet the energy demand - in France, but also in other countries in Europe.

Hydrogen is specifically needed to decarbonise sectors such as aviation and heavy haulage.

Areas such as the auto industry are also part of Macron's reindustrialization strategy.

Two million electric and hybrid vehicles are to be produced in France by 2030.

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