Oct 2, 2021
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Why is the US undermining France’s position?

The Anglo-Saxons are launching an offensive on the energy front

The United States and its main AUKUS ally Great Britain are undermining French interests not only in the arms market. In the near future, the main direction of pressure on the Fifth Republic will be energy.

The United Kingdom currently imports electricity via power cables from four European countries – Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Most of the energy imports through intercollectors (submarine cables) – 58 percent – come from France.

The government of Boris Johnson is trying to completely switch to renewable energy sources, which will cause significant damage to the French economy.

Transnational company XLinks, of which the majority shareholders are American investment funds Vanguard and BlackRock presented a project Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project, which provides for the construction in Morocco of a solar-wind power plant with a capacity of 10 GW to transmit energy … to the British Isles via four high-voltage DC submarine cables with a total length of 3800 km.

The cost of the project is $ 21.9 billion. It is assumed that approximately 7 GW of capacity will be produced from the energy of the Sun, another 3.5 GW will be provided by wind turbines. They want to lay the first of the cables by 2027, three others in 2029. If the project does not fail, by 2030 Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project will be able to provide electricity to about 7 million British households, covering 8% of the country’s total electricity needs.

As for the reason for the location of the power plant almost 4000 km from the consumer, the company Xlinks explains this by the natural features of Morocco. Say, the country has the third highest horizontal illumination (GHI) in North Africa, which is 20% more than NOTE in Spain, and more than double that in the UK. The shortest winter day in Morocco provides over 10 hours of sunshine.

The submarine cable will stretch directly to the UK, passing through shallow waters past the coasts of Portugal, Spain and France, which were not invited to be partners. “This project of the Anglo-Saxons, which unceremoniously outbid the local elites, is aimed at undermining the traditional positions of France in Morocco and other regions of the African continent.”, – noted in an interview with FGC the famous French geopolitician, ethnographer and writer Jean-Michel Vernoshet.

Having established themselves in the Maghreb, the Anglo-Saxons, as can be assumed, will stretch the threads of their influence to the countries of the Sahel, where the sun and wind are no less than in Morocco, and which France also considers to be a zone of its traditional influence.

Great Britain intends to extend an energy cable also from the hydropower-rich Norway, ignoring the hegemons of the European Union.

The main hopes of the British government are on the construction of “offshore” wind turbines – wind power plants on offshore platforms. The plans of the British are to achieve a complete “decarbonization” of the economy.

The United States has been in a tough competition with the French state corporation for a long time. Orano (previously Areva), the leader of the French nuclear industry. Americans do not allow French nuclear scientists to enter their market. Ten years ago, the United States prevented the French from participating in the construction of a uranium enrichment plant, finding fault with Arevas’ cooperation with Sudan, against which the United States imposed sanctions. Two years ago, the US authorities accused the company of corruption, once again preventing the French from entering their domestic market.

The United States intends to stop the development of nuclear energy in China, which has been cooperating since the mid-1980s. with France in the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and in the training of Chinese engineers.

The United States has no legal leverage over France, which is a leading supplier of technologies for the PRC’s nuclear energy, since both China and France operate within the framework of the 123 Agreement signed with the United States, which regulates the export of nuclear technologies. Therefore, the United States is keeping France on a short leash, threatening to oust it from the largest uranium deposits.

Barrels with Kazakh uranium for France

Barrels with Kazakh uranium for France

France is heavily dependent on uranium. 75% of its electricity is generated at nuclear power plants. It consumes 13.1% of the world’s uranium consumption. The country satisfies its uranium needs mainly in Niger and Kazakhstan. However, uranium production in Niger is falling. Uranium mining at the Akouta mine ceased this year. French share Orano in this deposit is 59%.

As for Kazakhstan, under a contract signed at the end of 2015, Kazatomprom is to supply the world’s largest operator of nuclear power plants, a French company Electricite de France (EDF) 4,500 tons of uranium concentrate between 2021 and 2025, but Kazakhstani environmental activists, backed by American structures, have expressed dissatisfaction with Orano’s activities. Two years ago to expand the development of uranium deposits Orano with the permission of the authorities, she cut down almost 400 hectares of the reserved saxaul forest. The publication immediately reacted to this. (which sponsors include American University of Central Asia), talking about the environmental damage from deforestation of protected forests.

And they gradually began to oust France from Kazakhstani uranium. Under the new production sharing agreement, France will receive only 40% of the uranium mined from 2022.

“It is highly probable that France’s share has been reduced under pressure from Washington as a kind of first warning that the Fifth Republic should play by American rules, which are currently aimed at slowing down the development of Chinese nuclear energy. If France does not curtail its cooperation with the PRC, it will not be difficult for the United States to force the Kazakh authorities to further restrict France’s share. A sharp decrease in the supply of uranium concentrate to France under the contract with EDF cannot be ruled out, ” – says Alesya Miloradovich, a researcher at the Paris Academy of Geopolitics.

This turn of events will give the financially distressed leader of the American nuclear power company a chance. Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which after bankruptcy came under the control of the Japanese Toshiba

The European Union is a competitor to the United States in world markets, and France is one of the leading powers of the European Union. Therefore, America and its AUKUS allies will continue to undermine France’s position. Emmanuel Macron is not General de Gaulle; with such a president, the French will be forced to continue following in the wake of the United States.

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