France MBA Job Trends: Energy (2018)

France Annual GDP Growth Rate LatestFrance – the fifth largest economy in the world had a cyclic dip and growth in the past 17 years. More recently with the Global Financial crisis, France endured at a much better rate (-2.9%) over its European counterparts - Germany and UK where the economies shrunk by 5.6% and 4.3% respectively. Although France is a hybrid economy with Socialist values, the 1983 economic crisis pushed the government to large-scale privatization, which continued for over two decades leading the govt. to sell stakes in global brands that include Air France and Renault.


When President Macron is on a global messaging tour of 'Make Earth Green again', a statistic that shed into the realities of France's energy independence becomes clear - 75% of the electricity produced in the country is from Nuclear.

The move away from Oil & Gas started in full-force after the escalation of the Yom Kippur War when OAPEC(Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries) raised an embargo against countries which were perceived to support Israel. Although France didn’t take a direct stance, the perception of French support of United States led to widespread caution on energy usage and put the French government in great uncertainty. Even though before the 70s crisis, France was looking at Nuclear Energy as an alternative to Oil & Gas, the event accelerated the adoption of Nuclear Energy as the primary source despite the majority of the Uranium exported from Canada and Niger.

The pressurised water reactor (PWR) design that allowed the faster establishment of Nuclear Vessels is now a source of security concern for the nuclear reactors that have all crossed the 30-year mark. A recent inspection by Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) found the insufficient use of steel in Nuclear reactor vessels, leading to an emergency closure of 20 plants. The new design - European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) is a costly alternative that would sway the already negative public opinion - following the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, against Nuclear.

Unfortunately, the energy output of Solar and Wind power is insufficient to bridge the gap and meet the guidelines of France’s Energy transition bill that have ambitious energy consumption targets for 2025 (32% renewable energy – 40% electricity, 38% heating and 15% transport). Germany that led the transition faced increased carbon emissions in 2015 and 2016 after a steady or declining emission from 2009, when nuclear reactors were starting the process of phasing out.

What does Energy transition mean to an MBA candidate?

Top Energy and Utilities Companies in FrancePost-MBA in France, you are unlikely to manage a nuclear plant or even a wind energy system, but you are likely to work as a Consultant for one of the energy companies, helping them establish a comprehensive strategy for operations, change management and implementing the latest Technology required for the transition.


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