Energy in France

Energy in France is the energy and electricity production, consumption and import in France.

Nuclear power accounted for 72.3% of total electricity production in 2016, while renewables and fossil fuels accounted for 17.8% and 8.6%, respectively.[1] France has the largest share of nuclear electricity in the world.[2] The country is also among the world's biggest net exporters of electricity.


Energy in France [3]
Prim. energy
Change 2004-20135.9%-7.9%-0.01%-11.7%1.7%-18.4%
Mtoe = 11.63 TWh, Prim. energy includes energy losses that are 2/3 for nuclear power[4]

2012R = CO2 calculation criteria changed, numbers updated

2015 fuel taxes, in Euro[5]
DieselGasolineNatural gasCoalElectricity
per unitliterliterm3MWhtonneMWh


Left: The Cattenom nuclear power station near Luxemburg
Right: Wind power in France; turbines in Lower Normandy
Bottom: The Cruas nuclear power plant at night.

The electricity sector in France is dominated by nuclear power, which accounted for 72.3% of total production in 2016, while renewables and fossil fuels accounted for 17.8% and 8.6%, respectively.[1] France has the largest share of nuclear electricity in the world. The country is also among the world's biggest net exporters of electricity. The French nuclear power sector is almost entirely owned by the French government and the degree of the government subsidy is difficult to ascertain because of a lack of transparency.[6]


Électricité de France (EDF) is the main electricity generation and distribution company in France. It was founded on April 8, 1946 as a result of the nationalisation of a number of electricity producers, transporters and distributors by the Communist Minister of Industrial Production Marcel Paul. Until November 19, 2004 it was a government corporation, but it is now a limited-liability corporation under private law (société anonyme). The French government partially floated shares of the company on the Paris Stock Exchange in November 2005,[7] although it retains almost 85% ownership as of the end of 2007.[8]

EDF held a monopoly in the distribution, but not the production, of electricity in France until 1999, when the first European Union directive to harmonize regulation of electricity markets was implemented.[9]

EDF is one of the world's largest producers of electricity. In 2003, it produced 22% of the European Union's electricity, primarily from nuclear power:

A report was published in 2011 by the World Energy Council in association with Oliver Wyman, entitled Policies for the future: 2011 Assessment of country energy and climate policies, which ranks country performance according to an energy sustainability index.[10] The best performers were Switzerland, Sweden, and France.

Renewable energy

Piper Jaffray expected strong growth in France in 2009 and 2010, partly because of an expected decline in the price of solar panels and partly because of subsidies introduced in 2006 making themselves felt. France should be a key driver for solar together with Italy during 2009-2010. Piper Jaffray believes that France would add 500 megawatts of capacity in both 2009 and 2010. France has 50 megawatts of solar power capacity now.[11]

Hydroelectric dams in France include Eguzon dam, Étang de Soulcem, and Lac de Vouglans.

In July 2015, the French parliament passed a comprehensive energy and climate law that includes a mandatory renewable energy target requiring 40% of national electricity production to come from renewable sources by 2030.[12][13] For context, 19.5% of the country's electricity was generated by renewable energy in 2014 (13.8% hydro, 3.5% wind, 1.2% solar, 1.0% others).[14]

See also


  1. National yearly power generation by source, Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (Electricity Transmission Network Company) Open Data.
  2. "Nuclear Share of Electricity Generation in 2018". IAEA. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  3. IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2015, 2014 (2012R as in November 2015 + 2012 as in March 2014 is comparable to previous years statistical calculation criteria, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 Archived 2013-10-07 at the Wayback Machine, 2006 Archived 2009-10-12 at the Wayback Machine IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  4. Energy in Sweden 2010 Archived October 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Facts and figures, The Swedish Energy Agency, Table 8 Losses in nuclear power stations Table 9 Nuclear power brutto
  5. Michel, Sharon. ENERGY PRICES AND TAXES, COUNTRY NOTES, 3rd Quarter 2015 Archived January 19, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, page 34. International Energy Agency, 2015
  6. Al Gore: Our Choice, A plan to solve the climate crises, Bloomsbury 2009 page 156
  7. Bennhold, Katrin (21 November 2005). "EDF shares fail to light up market". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  8. "Shareholding policy". Électricité de France. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  9. Directive 96/92/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 1996 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity (L27, 30.01.1997, p. 20)
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2011-11-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. Tara Patel (2015-07-22). "France to Adopt Law to Cut Nuclear Dependency, Carbon Emissions". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  13. "France passes sweeping energy bill, to raise CO2 tax to €100/t by 2030". Carbon Pulse. 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
  14. "France Electricity Report for 2014" (PDF). Réseau de Transport d'Électricité. 2015-01-27. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
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