Electricity sector in France

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Nuclear Power Plant Cattenom.jpg Falaise centre nord.JPG
Centrale de Cruas.jpg
Left: The Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant site near Luxemburg
Right: Wind turbines in Lower Normandy
Bottom: The Cruas Nuclear Power Station at night

The electricity sector in France is dominated by nuclear power, which accounted for 77% of total production in 2012, while renewables and fossil fuels accounted for 15% and 8%, 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.[2] The production of the nuclear power in France decreased 12% in 2009 compared to 2004 equivalent to 8% units share less nuclear power. It was almost equal to the 7% drop in electricity export.

Consumption[edit]

French import–export balance of electricity in 2012 (TWh)

In 2008 consumption of electricity was on average 8,233 kWh/person. This corresponded to 110% of the EU15 average (7,409 kWh/person) and 91% of the OECD average (8,991 kWh/person).[3]

Electricity per person and by power source[edit]

Electricity pro person in France (kWh/ hab.)[3]
Use Production Export Exp. % Fossil Nuclear Nuc. % Other RE* Bio+waste Wind Non RE use* RE %*
2004 8,204 9,203 999 12.2% 849 7,209 87.9% 1,061 83 7,060 13.9%
2005 8,215 9,176 961 11.7% 970 7,201 87.7% 924 81 7,210 12.2%
2006 8,140 9,041 901 11.1% 897 6,977 85.7% 1,083 85 6,972 14.3%
2008 8,233 8,984 751 9.1% 853 6,872 83.5% 1,168 91 6,974 15.3%
2009 7,951 8,351 400 5.0% 871 6,371 80.1% 897* 93 121* 6,840 14.0%
* Other RE is waterpower, solar and geothermal electricity and wind power until 2008
* Non RE use = use – production of renewable electricity
* RE % = (production of RE / use) * 100% Note: European Union calculates the share of renewable energies in gross electrical consumption.

Mode of production[edit]

Electricity production by sources in France.png
Electricity production by soucre (1960–2012)[1] Percentage figures for 2012.

      Coal (4.08%)
      Oil (0.58%)
      Non-hydro renew. (4.47%)

      Natural gas (3.69%)
      Nuclear (76.6%)
      Hydro (10.2%)

According to the IEA, French gross production of electricity amounted to 559 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2012,[4]:17 slightly down from 570 and 567 TWh produced in 2008 and 2004, respectively.

France is the world's 8th largest producer of electricity. In 2012, the top ten countries prodcued 7,290 TWh, or 66.7% of global electricity production of 22,668 TWh. These countries were China (22%), followed by the United States (18.8%), India (5.0%), Russia (4.7%), Japan (4.5%), Canada (2.8%), Germany (2.7%), France (2.5%), Brazil (2.4%), and South Korea (2.3%). The rest of the world produced 32.3%.[4]:27[5]

France is also the world's second largest producer of nuclear electricity, behind the United States and ahead of Russia and Korea. In terms of nuclear's share on the total domestic electricity generation, France has by far the highest percentage portion of any country in the world (76%, also see chart "Electricity production by source").[4]:17

Maybe contrary to expectation, France imported 23 megatonnes (Mt) of oil products in 2012, making it Europe's largest, and the world's 5th largest net-importer of fossil oil, behind Japan (37 Mt), Indonesia (27 Mt), China (25 Mt), and Mexico (24 Mt).[4]:21

Nuclear power[edit]

The French nuclear power is almost entirely owned by the French government and its electricity is sold to the government. According to Al Gore the degree of the government subsidy is difficult to ascertain because of a lack of transparencies in the finances of the operation.[6]

France has the largest share of electricity from nuclear power in the world. According to the IEA 77% of its domestic electricity was generated by nuclear power in 2008. The second was Ukraine 46.7%, third Sweden 42.6% and followed by South Korea 34.0%, Japan 24.0%, Germany 23.5%, United States 19.3%, Russia 15.7%, Canada 14.4% and China 2.0. %[7]

In terms of installed capacity and produced power in 2008 France was the top second nuclear electricity country in the world behind the United States. Installed nuclear capacity was 63 GW and power production 439 TWh i.e. 16.1% of the world total. In 2004 power production was equal.[7][5]

The Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique is the national authority in France. Nuclear companies include EdF and Areva. Électricité de France (EdF) is the main electricity producer. Eurodif is the uranium enrichment plant. Areva NC (France) and Rio Tinto (UK) are the top uranium companies of the world.

France reprocesses its nuclear waste to retrieve plutonium and uranium for use as additional fuel. Fission products are stored in La Hague facility until a deep geological repository for high-level waste can be constructed. A repository for low-level and short-lived intermediate-level nuclear waste is already operational.[8]

The European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) at Flamanville, the first new nuclear reactor to be built in France in 15 years, is now expected to open in 2016 instead of the original starting date of 2012, and will cost €8.5bn instead of the original estimate of €3.3bn.[9]

Hydro power[edit]

Installed hydro electricity power capacity was 25 GW in 2007.[7]

Wind power[edit]

Main article: Wind power in France
Wind farm in France.

Installed wind power in France was 5,660 MW at the end of 2010 and 4,574 MW at the end of 2009. The share of wind power in the end of 2010 was in average 2.3% of electricity need.[10]

In 2013 electric energy from wind power in France was only produced in onshore wind farms. However, on January 25, 2011, President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed the tendering process to build France's first five offshore wind farms, expected to have a capacity of 3GW and to be sited off the Atlantic coast between Saint-Nazaire and Dieppe/Le Tréport.[11][12] Tender documents were to be sent out on April 1, with the winning bid announced in early 2012.[12] A second round of bidding to provide a further 3GW of capacity is expected in 2012.[12]

EU and France Wind Energy Capacity (MW)[13][14][15][16]
No Country 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998
- EU-27 105,696 93,957 84,074 74,767 64,712 56,517 48,069 40,511 34,383 28,599 23,159 17,315 12,887 9,678 6,453
5 France 7,196 6,800 5,660 4,492 3,404 2,454 1,567 757 390 257 148 93 66 25 19

Solar power[edit]

Main article: Solar power in France

France had 4.028 GW of photovoltaics at the end of 2012, installing 1.079 GW that year. The electricity generated in France by photovoltaics was 4,000 GWh in 2011.[17] The largest completed solar park is the 115 MW Toul-Rosières Solar Park.[18]

Export[edit]

France was the leader in the export of electricity in 2008: 48 TWh followed by Paraguay 46 TWh and Canada 32 TWh.[7]

Power stations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Electricity production by sources in France 1960–2012, 6 November 2014, http://www.bluenomics.com
  2. ^ Al Gore: Our Choice, A plan to solve the climate crises, Bloomsbury 2009 page 156
  3. ^ a b Energy in Sweden, Facts and figures, The Swedish Energy Agency, (in Swedish: Energiläget i siffror), Table: Specific electricity production per inhabitant with breakdown by power source (kWh/person), Source: IEA/OECD 2006 T23, 2007 T25, 2008 T26, 2009 T25 and 2010 T49.
  4. ^ a b c d International Energy Ageny, IEA—Key World Energy Statistics 2012, published 2014
  5. ^ a b IEA Key energy statistics 2006[dead link]
  6. ^ Al Gore: Our Choice, A plan to solve the climate crises, Bloomsbury 2009 page 156
  7. ^ a b c d IEA Key stats 2010 pages electricity 27 gas 13,25 fossil 25 nuclear 17
  8. ^ "Nuclear Power in France". WNA. April 2001. Retrieved 02-06-2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ "EDF raises French EPR reactor cost to over $11 billion". Reuters. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Wind in power 2010 European statistics EWEA February 2011 pages 11, 17
  11. ^ Sarkozy confirms €10bn offshore wind plan BusinessGreen, published 2011-01-25, accessed 2011-05-10
  12. ^ a b c Wind energy fans welcome sarkozy plans but question timing Actmedia, published 2011-01-27, accessed 2011-05-10
  13. ^ EWEA Staff (2010). "Cumulative installed capacity per EU Member State 1998 - 2009 (MW)". European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  14. ^ EWEA Staff (February 2011). "EWEA Annual Statistics 2010". European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  15. ^ EWEA Staff (February 2012). "EWEA Annual Statistics 2011". European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  16. ^ Wind in power: 2012 European statistics February 2013
  17. ^ Photovoltaic Barometer
  18. ^ Marguerite Fund Buys Into France’s Largest Solar Park