While electricity prices have never been so volatile, the question of EDF's production costs is the subject of fierce debate. The government has mandated the Commission de régulation de l'énergie (CRE) on the subject. The full cost is €60.70 per megawatt hour (MWh), for nuclear for the period 2026-2030, well above the €42 of the Arenh (Regulated Access to Historic Nuclear Electricity), a mechanism that ends in 2025.
The CRE estimate does not take into account the financing of the new nuclear program involving the construction of at least six reactors. For the future, two logics clash. The government preaches in favor of a price directly linked to the cost of production, increased by a margin (for the return on capital, to finance future investments...).
When EDF would be more in favor of a market price, depending on supply and demand. This price would be more volatile but could sometimes be higher and sometimes lower. "Manufacturers could be tempted to use this reference cost to negotiate as closely as possible the prices of their long-term contracts with EDF," says Emmanuel Fages, senior partner at the Roland Berger consulting firm.
In its latest forward-looking review, the transmission system operator estimates the cost per megawatt hour of all types of production at €80 over the period 2025-2026. It could then evolve in a range between 70 and 75 euros, until the end of the decade. This decline is related to the fact that the means of renewable electricity generation that are entering the market are more competitive than those currently in operation. Production costs for solar panels and wind turbines have fallen sharply.