Under its commitment to the EU renewable energy directive of 2009, France has a target of producing 23% of its total energy needs from renewable energy by 2020. This figure breaks down to renewable energy providing 33% of energy used in the heating and cooling sector, 27% of the electricity sector and 10.5% in the transport sector. By the end of 2014, 14.3% of France's total energy requirements came from renewable energy, a rise from 9.6% in 2005.
The outlook for renewable electricity in France received a boost following the publication in October 2016 of the "Programmation pluriannuelle de l'énergie", showing a commitment to re-balancing the electricity mix towards renewables. According to the report, renewable electricity capacity is planned to grow from 41 GW in 2014 to between 71 and 78 GW by 2023. Historically the electricity sector in France has been dominated by the country's longstanding commitment to nuclear power. However, the report emphasizes that by 2025 more than half of France's nuclear power capacity will come from stations that will be 40 years or older, and subject to closure or refurbishment to extend their operation. Thus, there is a need to look to other sources, including renewables, to meet the expected generating-capacity shortfall.
A key component of France's renewable target is the commitment to greatly increase energy efficiency, particularly for buildings and thermal insulation. Heat wastage is targeted to be reduced by 38% by 2020. The renewable targets are also intended to stimulate new trades and changes to existing trades to enable green growth. The PPE plan targets the reduction of the consumption of primary fossil energy by 22% in 2023 from 2012 levels (reference scenario) or a fallback scenario of an 11% reduction under less-favorable conditions (variant scenario). In terms of the reduction in primary consumption, petroleum products are targeted to fall by 23% between 2012 and 2023 (reference scenario) or 9.5% (variant scenario), gas by 16% (9% variant scenario) and coal by 37% (30% variant scenario).
In the transport sector, France has a range of initiatives designed to promote renewable energy use and increase efficiency. These include changing transport behavior, such as a target of 10% of tele-worked days by 2030 to reduce consumption. By 2023, the country aims to have a fleet of 2.4 million rechargeable electric and hybrid vehicles and for 3% of heavy-duty applications to use natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Biofuels blended with petrol are set for 1.8% in 2018 and 3.4% in 2023, and for diesel 1% in 2018 and 2.3% in 2023. By 2030, non-road freight transport is targeted to reach 20% of all goods. Initiatives to increase walking and cycling are also being undertaken. Car pooling and digital services will be promoted to increase occupancy rates to between 1.8 and 2 people by 2030. The country is also pursuing research and development of autonomous vehicles, particularly in public transport.
|low scenario||high scenario|
floating wind turbines, underwater turbines etc.
biogas from landfill and treatment works
During 2016, renewable electricity accounted for 19.6% of France's total domestic power consumption, of which 12.2% was provided by hydroelectricity, 4.3% by wind power, 1.7% by solar power and 1.4% by bio energy. According to the report "Programmation pluriannuelle de l'énergie" renewable electricity capacity is targeted to grow from 41 GW capacity in 2014 to 52 GW by 2018 and between 71 and 78 GW by 2023. The target for 2023 includes a high and low scenario to take into account external factors such as cost and consultations that may affect future deployment. The sources that are planned to grow fastest are wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) power; 500 MW of offshore wind power is expected to be grid-connected by 2018. Onshore wind power is set to grow from around 9 GW in 2014 to between approximately 22 and 26 GW by 2023. Offshore wind power is targeted to grow from zero capacity in 2014 to between 3.5 GW and 9 GW by 2023, and up to an additional 2 GW of marine energy. Solar PV power is projected to grow from around 5.3 GW in 2014 to between 18.2 GW and 20.2 GW by 2023. Hydroelectric power is already well developed in France but is targeted to grow 500–750 MW by 2023.
|Geothermal (excluding low temperature heat pump applications)||126|
|geothermal & hydrothermal||262|
|Total heat pump||1,794|
Solid biomass accounted for the largest share of renewable energy consumption in the heating and cooling sector at 8,661 ktoe (thousand tonnes of oil equivalent) in 2014. The next-largest source was provided by heat pumps at 1,794 ktoe. Heat accounts for about 95% of the energy produced by solid biomass, while the remaining 5% is used to produce electricity. Energy from wood and wood products accounts for almost all of this production, of which 73% is used to heat family dwellings. During 2015, heat consumption in France (excluding dependencies) from solid biomass amounted to 8,836 ktoe, of which 8,115 ktoe were accounted for by direct use of end user, and 721 ktoe from district heating sources. District heating networks were supplied during 2015 by both heat-only plants (326 ktoe), and combined heat and power plants (395 ktoe).
The Thassalia marine geothermal plant is located in the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille and uses marine thermal energy to provide heating and cooling to buildings connected to its network. The first phase of the network was inaugurated in October 2016 and covered 150,000 square metres (1,600,000 sq ft). The network is planned to be expanded to cover around 500,000 square metres (5,400,000 sq ft) of Marseille. The plant pumps seawater from the port of Marseille and extracts the natural heat from the water using large-scale heat pumps to provide heating for the town. The process can be reversed to provide cooling during the hot Mediterranean summer. The project is regarded as a flagship example and it is hoped more will follow, including a much-larger geothermal marine project on the island of La Réunion to supply air conditioning utilizing seawater piped from 1,100 metres (3,600 ft).
|Bioethanol/bio-ETBE||biofuels per Article 21(2)||17|
|Biodiesel||biofuels per Article 21(2)||126|
|Hydrogen from renewables||0|
|Renewable electricity||for road transport||4|
|for non-road transport||229|
|Others (e.g.: biogas, vegetable oils)||0|
Biodiesel provided the largest share of renewable energy in the transport sector at 2,641 ktoe in 2016. In the same year bioethanol provided the next-largest share at 474 ktoe followed by renewable electricity at 233 ktoe.
The stock of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in France passed the 100,000-unit milestone in October 2016, making the country the second-largest plug-in market in Europe after Norway, and fifth worldwide.
|Grand'Maison Dam||Isère||1800||Pumped storage|
|Revin Pumped Storage Power Plant||Revin||800||Pumped storage|
|Super Bissorte||Savoie||748||Pumped storage|
|La Bâthie Power Station||Boudin||546||Water reservoir|
|Le Pouget||Mas Audran||444.5||Water reservoir|
|Tignes Dam (Brevieres/Malgovert)||Tignes||428||Water reservoir|
|Génissiat Dam||Génissiat||396||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Serre-Ponçon Power Station||Rousset||380||Water reservoir|
|l'Aigle Dam||Aynes||360||Water reservoir|||
|Monteynard Power Station||La Motte Saint Martin||364||Water reservoir|
|Donzère-Mondragon (Bollène) dam||Saint-Pierre de Senos||354||Run-of-river and poundage|
|La Coche||Savoie||320||Pumped storage|
|Chateauneuf-du-Rhone||Drôme||295||Run-of-river and poundage|||
|Rochemaure Dam||Chateauneuf du Rhône Barrage||285||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Chastang Dam||Belvedere||282||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Marèges Dam||Marèges||272||Water reservoir|
|Vouglans Dam||Vouglans||262||Water reservoir|
|Bort-les-Orgues Dam||Bort-les-Orgues||240||Water reservoir|
|Charmes Dam||Beauchastel||223||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Saulce sur Rhône (Loriol Le Pouzin Dam)||Le Pouzin||211||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Vallorcine Power Station (Emosson Dam)||Vallorcine||189||Water reservoir|
|La Roche de Glun Dam||Bourg lès Valence||186||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Caderousse dam||Caderousse||156||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Sarrans dam||Sarrans||155||Water reservoir|
|Vogelgrun Power Station||Vogelgrun||140||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Eguzon dam||Éguzon-Chantôme||70.6||Water reservoir|||
|Pinet Power Station||Aveyron||42.5||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Le Truel Power Station||Aveyron||22||Run-of-river and poundage|
|La Jourdanie (power station)||Aveyron||18||Run-of-river and poundage|
|Alrance Power Station||Aveyron||11||Pumped storage|||
|Bimont Dam||Aix-en-Provence||Water reservoir|
Hydroelectric power is the largest single source of renewable electricity in France accounting for 12.2% of total domestic power consumption in 2016. According to industry sources in 2014, there were around 2,600 hydroelectric plants of widely varying capacity accounting for 25,400 MW of installed capacity, 436 of these plants were run by EDF (Électricité de France, a French-based utility company largely owned by the state) and accounted for around 19,900 MW of the total capacity. In 2014 France was the world's tenth-largest producer of hydroelectricity, and Europe's second-largest after Norway, producing 69 TWh including pumped storage production. In 2016, aggregated hydroelectric plants of greater than 1 MW capacity of the run-of-the-river or poundage type accounted for 10,327 MW, the water reservoir type accounted for 8,231 MW and pumped-storage type 4,965 MW.
France has the second-largest wind potential in Europe. Wind power capacity grew from 3,577 MW in 2008 to 10,358 MW by 2015 as France continues to develop this potential. As of year end 2015, all wind power in France is onshore, total onshore capacity is planned to more than double by 2023. France is committed to developing a large offshore capability, with the first 500 MW of capacity scheduled to come online by 2018. By 2023, France could have up to 11 GW of offshore wind and marine energy.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) power grew from 104 MW capacity in 2008 to 6,549 MW by year end 2015 at which time France had the seventh-largest solar PV installed capacity in the world. France and is set to undergo significant expansion of its solar power with a target of around 18–20 GW installed capacity by 2023. In January 2016, President François Hollande and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, laid the foundation stone for the headquarters of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in Gwalpahari, Gurgaon, India. The ISA will focus on promoting and developing solar energy and solar products for countries lying wholly or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
In 2018, EDF had plans to invest up to €25 billion in PV power generation, and introduce green electricity tariffs.
France opened Rance Tidal Power Station, the world's first tidal power station, in 1966. It remained the world's largest tidal station until 2011. Its 24 turbines reach a peak output of 240 MW with an annual output of around 500 GWh. The dam traverses the estuary of the Rance River in Brittany, connecting the tourist towns of Dinard and Saint Malo, providing both a roadbridge and footbridge. In addition the barrage is a popular destination in its own right amongst both tourists and anglers providing a pleasant walkway across the entire estuary.
|Overall RES share||9.6%||11.4%||12.5%||13.5%||14.0%||15.0%||16.0%||17.0%||18.0%||19.5%||20.5%||22.0%||23.0%|
Note: Percentage values are shares of renewable energy sources (RES) in the total domestic market for heating and cooling (H&C), electricity (E), and transport (T) sectors.
France has an overall target of producing 23% of its total energy needs from renewable energy by 2020, encompassing 33% in the heating and cooling sector, 27% in the electricity sector and 10.5% in the transport sector.
|Overall RES share||12.7%||13.7%||14.0%||14.3%||15.1%||16.0%|
|Relative difference to target trajectory||-5.9%||-2.1%||-6.7%||-10.6%||-11.2%||-11.1%|
By 2016 France had achieved a 16.0% renewable energy share of its total energy use, a figure 11% below the target of 18.0% for that year. Figures for the transport sector was above its target while the heating and cooling and electricity sectors were below theirs.