France - Country Commercial Guide
Energy (ENG)
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The French energy sector is a mature market subject to very strong competition.  The National Energy Mediator reports that there are thirty suppliers that share the global energy market, with the French market dominated by three major players:

EDF - {Electricite de France}, Electricity supplier/nuclear

Engie – Natural gas supplier, LNG

Total Energies - Mixed including fuel & gasoline

Approximately two-thirds of France’s electricity comes from the country’s 56 nuclear reactors, and France has been an electricity exporter for the past 30 years.  Just over half of the country’s energy is provided by primary domestic production.  France imports most of its fossil fuels and has extensively diversified its geographic sourcing.  With less greenhouse effects, electricity and gas have progressively replaced oil and coal use in the main industrial sectors, although oil-based products are still the norm in the transportation sector.

Renewable energy is taking on a growing share in the country’s energy mix, representing a target of 25.3% of France’s gross final energy consumption for 2022. French government support for renewable energies increased 25% with a commitment of €6 billion ($7.06 billion) in 2021.  Green energy is a centerpiece of the country’s “France Relance” economic recovery efforts. 



France’s multiannual energy strategy (PPE) released in April 2020 codified the government’s plan to reduce nuclear in the energy mix for electricity production from over 70 percent to 50 percent by 2035 and increase the role of renewables.  However, the President Macron announced in February 2022 that France would construct six new nuclear reactors (with studies for an additional eight reactors) and would invest €1 billion in small modular reactors (SMRs).  Nuclear energy will play a critical role in France’s efforts to achieve its strategic priorities to reducing CO2 emissions, secure supply chains, grow business competitiveness, preserve household purchasing power, maintain skilled industrial jobs, and develop technological expertise in this field.

With 56 reactors spread over 19 nuclear sites, France has the largest nuclear fleet in the world in proportion to its population. Each year, around 405 TWH of nuclear power is produced.

The impact of the 1973 oil shock led the French government to initiate a program to build 16 reactors of 900 Megawatts of electricity (MWe), and 20 additional reactors of 1,300 Mwe after 1976. Between 1996 and 2000, 4 other 1,450 MWe reactors were commissioned, bringing the installed capacity to 63.2 GWe.

An EPR reactor (3rd generation) - with a capacity of 1,650 MWe - is currently under construction on the Flamanville plant site.  In addition to France’s nuclear power plants, other nuclear sites in France include uranium manufacturing sites, radioactive waste management centers, and research centers operating experimental reactors.


With Russia’s war in Ukraine, the European Union set an ambitious target of reducing dependence on Russian gas.  This decision will transform the global European LNG market, generating a boom for LNG producers.  Therefore, to facilitate additional LNG imports, Europe is planning to build gasification terminals throughout the EU.

Last year, French LNG imports jumped 87%, according to GRT Gaz, the Engie subsidiary managing most of the gas transmission network in France.

The three LNG terminals at Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône), Montoir-de-Bretagne (Loire-Atlantique) and Dunkerque (Pas-de-Calais) through which the imported LNG is received are operating at full capacity. Consequently, Engie which was planning to close the Fos-sur-Mer terminal, has signed contracts ensuring that this terminal will continue to be used until 2028. 

Europe has been buying LNG on a larger scale following the natural gas supply disruption stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine. To support European energy security, the United States has increased LNG exports to Europe.  U.S. LNG exports to the EU have more than doubled since the start of 2022. 

Smart Grids

The French smart grids market is anticipated to boom in the coming years.  Smart grids are electrical networks that use new technologies to optimize the distribution and consumption of energy.  According to the Think Smart grids association, the sector today represents some 15,000 direct jobs in France.

Forecasts on the French market are promising after climbing from €300 million in 2014 to €1.5 billion in 2018. Growth has remained stable and is anticipated to represent €1.4 billion in 2022.

Renewable Energies

Renewable energies have been growing steadily in the last few years in France to reach 11.7% of primary energy consumption and 25.3% of gross final energy consumption in 2019. Renewable energies support approximately 60,000 full-time jobs. The Renewable energy sector is very diverse, covering ten different sub-sectors: Wood energy: 35.2 % - Hydraulic 17.3 % - Biofuels 12.1 % - Wind 10.4 % - Heat pumps (Pompes a Chaleurs which are replacing traditional radiators) 9.6 % - Renewable waste 4.8 % - Biogas 3.4 % Solar 3.4 %. Others (geothermic, agriculture, marine) 3.6 %. The most developed renewable energies are still wood energy and hydropower, but onshore windfarms and heat pumps are two sectors that have progressed the most in the last few years with offshore windfarms currently under development. In absolute levels among the EU Member States, France is the largest producer of hydroelectricity and the second largest for biofuels.


The French government will invest €2 billion in hydrogen through 2022 as part of France Relance, with nearly €7 billion more to be deployed by 2030.

The French government’s hydrogen plan aims to encourage territorial projects to develop “green” hydrogen for use in industry and mobility.

The plan opts to produce “green” hydrogen by electrolysis from decarbonated electricity sources.  Another method would consist of using methane and storing the CO2 emitted during the transformation, which gives what is called “blue hydrogen”.

Wind Power

Total French onshore wind power amounted to 17,932 MW (Megawatt).  A total of 323 MW has been connected since the beginning of 2020 and continues.   Since then, wind power production has amounted to approximately 39 685 GWh, representing almost 9 percent of national electrical consumption.

In December 2020, France had the fourth European wind farm representing 17 612 MW, behind Germany (62 627 MW), Spain (27 264 MW), and the United Kingdom (24 168 MW).

The offshore wind site on the coast of Saint Nazaire, is currently under construction.  It will have 80 wind turbines, provide the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 700,000 people, or 20% of the consumption of Loire-Atlantique.  It should be finished at the end of 2022. However, several offshore wind projects are currently being developed on the west French coast (Saint Nazaire, Fécamp. Courseulles-sur-Mer, Saint Brieuc, Ile d’Yeux, Dieppe):

France’s commitments to deploying the sector are included in the Pluriannual Energy Programming (PPE). Targets for 2023 and 2028 are as follows:

On shore wind:   24,600 MW for 2023

 34,100-35,600 MW by 2028

Offshore wind:   2,400 MW for 2023

 4,700-5,200 MW by 2028


Trade Associations

  • Ademe (French Agency for Ecological Transition)
  • Association Francaise du Gaz – AFGAZ - French Gas Association
  • Conseil français de l ‘Energie – CFE - French Council for Energy (member of the World Energy Council)
  • Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables - S.E.R. - French Renewable Energies Trade Association
  • Société Francaise des Energies Nucléaires – SFEN - French syndicate for Nuclear Energy
  • Think Smart Grids - French Solutions for Smart Grids

Trade shows

  • Smart Grid + Smart City - Paris - Porte de Versailles
  • WNE - World Nuclear Exhibition - Paris Nord Villepinte

Contact:  U.S. Embassy France - U.S. Commercial Service Trade Specialists:

Tel : +33(0)1 43 12 70 14 / 71 98;