A waterfall

France see a need for more hydropower generation, and Statkraft has ambitious plans. (Photo: Statkraft)

In 2009, Statkraft opened its French office in Lyon, signalling the start of the company's activities in France. Up to the year 2030, many of the hydropower concessions in France are to be put out to tender, and Statkraft has ambitious plans.

Statkraft aims to grow in Europe, and France is next on the list. September 2009 saw the official opening of our Lyon office, where Statkraft employees will be working to position the company for the allocation of hydropower licences.

Significant licences are to be out for tender soon and some others in the coming years, and Statkraft’s goal is to win one licence in the first instance – to put the company on the map.

You can find more information on Statkraft's French website.

Call for tender & licence

France’s annual hydro-electric generation is some 70 TWh, just over half of Norway’s. A fifth of installed production is to be put out to tender by 2020. And an even greater share between 2020 and 2030.

Over the years, the majority of hydro-electric generation in France has been in the hands of the state-owned French energy giant, EDF. In recent years, the market has gradually opened up to new actors, from France and abroad. When it comes to the renewal of hydropower licences, all the historically dominant actors have now lost their preferential rights, and the French government will open the hydro power concessions to all energy companies and launch a call for tender procedure in the coming months.

More renewable and flexible

Demand for flexible power is increasing, especially in France, where power production is strongly dominated by nuclear, which is very inflexible. As a result, there is a need for more hydropower generation. Effectively all the potential for expansion has already been exploited when it comes to large-scale plants, but independent analyses show that there is development potential of 28TWh to be put to open tender. Here too Statkraft will be registering its interest.

From the EU, France is subject to very stringent climate targets; by 2020, the share of renewables must increase to 23 percent, up from the present level of 12 percent.