Wednesday, July 3, 2013

(OT) So France Does Turn Off Lights

In December last year when I posted an article from UK's Daily Mail that the French government would turn off the lights to save money and show 'sobriety', there was a comment doubting the story as coming from a dubious source.

Well it looks like it really happened, as of July 1, 2013.

The news does not necessarily come from a credible news source, but I made my judgment that it is a valid piece of news.

From Huffington Post (7/1/2013):

Paris Illumination Ban: 'City Of Light' Begins Turning Off Its Lights At Night To Save Energy

By Sara Gates

"The City Of Light" is losing some of its brightness.
Under Paris' illumination ban, merchants and non-residential building owners in the French city will be required to turn off their lights at night in order to save energy.

France's energy conservation decree, which was first passed in January, will take effect across the nation Monday night, and Paris is likely to feel the effects of the ban the most. The capital city is known for keeping its streets and monuments twinkling at night.

The illumination ban is expected to save 200 million euros (more than $260 million) and 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. Earlier this year, ministry head Delphine Batho also indicated that the nationwide lighting restriction would cut down negative effects of artificial lighting.

Store and non-residential building owners will be required to turn off all interior lights by 1 a.m. or an hour after the last worker has left the premises, French TV channel TF1 reports. Exterior signs and building facades must also be extinguished between the hours of 1 and 7 a.m.

However, there are a few exceptions to the decree. The Eiffel Tower will continue its nighttime light shows and security-related lighting fixtures will remain lit, as well. Certain areas will also be granted immunity from the ban on holidays and during cultural events.

Each town's mayor will be responsible for enforcing the illumination ban and handing out 750-euro fines (nearly $980) to businesses that fail to turn off lights. Repeat offenders may also face suspension of electricity.

(Full article at the link)

As one of the comments to my December 2012 post pointed out, 78.8% of electricity in France comes from nuclear power, highest in the world. France has the 7th lowest electricity rate in EU, and the lowest CO2 emission per unit of GDP in the world.


JAnonymous said...

Indeed, it is true. More OT, from France.

It also reminds me of this Simpson episode where Lisa gets the city to turn off the lights so everyone can enjoy the stars, to the ire of Monty Burns who wants to sell always more electricity from his NPP. In the end, rising criminality has the upper hand and lights go back on.

On another news front, from July 1st a few taxes are getting a hike, and the lower bracket of income tax is frozen. Because people with low wage have a yearly raise based on inflation, this makes almost a million of them subject to income tax. You get a raise, so you can pay more taxes.

The amount of taxes paid yearly is 900 bn EUR, amounting to roughly 45% of GDP. Keeping in mind that tax evasion is our national sport (as expected from the people who "invented" VAT).

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

JA, keep on evading. These politicians and bureaucrats don't deserve your centime.

I do wonder though where the electricity from nuke plants goes.

Anonymous said...

afaik France HAS TO export electricity during non-peak time (can't slow down the nuclear clunkers...) and HAS TO import it during peak time (can't rev up the clunkers either...). Great technology, like a car that can only travel at 120 kph.

How about Tepco selling electricity to households at the same price as industrial users? Then we would have cheap electricity, like in France, right?

Or maybe we just have to wait until one of the French clunkers blows up, then electricity in France might become more expensive.

Frenchy said...

Anonymous : you're well informed. Needed Import/export of electricity is a reality breaking down the so reapeated forceful argument the french politician have been using for decades : Nuclear leads France to some independance in energy supplies...
We (in France) have cheap electricity... BUT the price IS UNDOUBTFULLY CHEAPER THAN IT SHOULD BE : it doesn't take in count at its real level decommissioning plants, safe storage or efficient treatement for dangerous long-live waste...
Above all, and sadly, since electricity production has been privatized in the 80's, we can see how plants security is lowered by the "profit pressure".
Which makes me sad every time i try to imagine the consequences a fukushima-like nightmare could have in a country which first industry is ... tourism !

Anonymous said...

In a way I understand the gesture, but that's anyway pretty stupid since we can't lower power production during nights because it comes from NPPs. And I doubt other countries import enough electricity at that particular time either.

You're right about tourism, but that's not just tourism. If an accident would happen, say, at Nogent or at Fessenheim, that would mean the end of agriculture in the area. Just one example: champagne wine (2bn euros of exports per year).
Also, as anyone knows, winds tends to blow from west to east in the northern hemisphere. This was a (probably the only) chance Japan had with Fukushima (about 80% of the fallout happened in the pacific ocean, which created a huge pollution, but had the advantage of diluting the fallout enough so that it was not as dangerous as it could have been). In France's case, 100% of the fallout will be located in eastern France, Germany, Poland and neighboring countries. This will not just create a major diplomatic incident in the EU, we should also expect the Germans and others to ask for compensations (and they would be right to do so after their own choice of phasing out NPPs, even if this choice is a bit hypocritical).


Tigny said...

And to add to the news that the french Minister to Ecology (whatever the english word for this) has been fired for criticizing the cuts in her ministry's budget!

As former right wing President Sarkozy said: "l'écologie, ça commence à bien faire" - "fed up with ecology".

Current left wing Presidency doesn't bring no change...

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