(Bloomberg) -- French Nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen said she would scrap subsidies for wind and solar power to reduce household energy bills if she wins next April’s presidential election.
The anti-immigration politician, who’s been slipping in some opinion polls to third place in the presidential race, is increasing her rhetoric against renewables as European governments introduce emergency tax cuts and other measures to limit the impact of soaring energy prices.
Renewable power subsidies are forecast to total 5.1 billion euros ($5.9 billion) in mainland France next year, including almost 3 billion euros for solar and 1.3 billion euros for onshore wind, the French energy regulator Commission de Regulation de l’Energie said this month. Aid for biomethane production will amount to an additional 713 million euros.
“I’m scrapping subsidies, which will, by the way, allow us to give back half of a tax that the French pay on their electricity bill,” Le Pen said on RTL radio Thursday. Le Pen also said she would start building new nuclear plants, while halting wind farm construction and launching a “large plan” to take down existing turbines.
Scrapping subsidies for wind and solar farms would threaten the collapse of such projects and could spark legal action. The government is already facing complaints from investors over its plan to cut subsidies for some solar farms.
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