Installed capacity +2 GW


Generation capacity in mainland France ended the year at close to 133 GW (132.9 GW to be precise), up 2 GW (+1.6%) from 2017. Wind and solar power accounted for the lion’s share of this increase. Fossil-fired thermal capacity was down sharply because of the closure of the last oil-fired plant at Cordemais.

Installed Capacity at  31/12/2018 Capacity in MW Change relative to 31/12/2017 Change in MW Share of total capacity
Nuclear 63 130 0% 0 47,5%
Fosil-fired thermal 18 588 -2,3% -439 14%
of which coal 2 997 0% 0 2,3%
of which oil 3 440 -16,1% -657 2,6%
of which gas 12 151 +1,8% 218 9,2%
Hydropower 25 510 -0,04% -11 19,2%
Wind 15 108 +11,2% 1 558 11,5%
Solar 8 527 +11,4% 873 6,4%
Bioenergies 2 026 +4,2% 73 1,5%
of which biogas 452 4,6% 20 0,3%
of which biomass 634 6,4% 38 0,5%
of which paper waste 57 0% 0 0,04%
of which municipal waste 883 1,8% 15 0,7%
Total 132 889 +1,6% 2 054 100%

Closer look

Better understanding

Closer look

View the national registry of power generation and storage facilities

Since 2017, RTE has been listing the main characteristics of French power generation and storage facilities on OpenData Réseaux Energie, which is updated every month. Information provided includes the location of facilities, the technology and fuel used, capacity, annual output, etc. The data comes from all system operators in mainland France and the overseas territories. Click here.

Better understanding

Energy and power : differencies

Understanding the difference between energy and power

Power (measured in watts, symbol W) represents a generation resource’s ability to deliver a quantity of energy per unit of time. A watt-hour (Wh) quantifies the energy delivered: 1 Wh is the energy produced by a 1 W generation facility over a one-hour period (1W × 1h).
In addition to kilowatt-hours (kWh = 103 Wh), larger multiples of watt-hours are often used to describe electricity generation: megawatt-hours (MWh = 106 Wh), gigawatt-hours (GWh = 109 Wh) and terawatt-hours (TWh = 1012 Wh). The energy consumed in one hour corresponds to power delivered to meet demand during that hour.

Electricity generation up sharply


Total power generation in France reached 548.6 TWh in 2018, up 3.7% from 2017. This was the biggest year-on-year increase since 2010. Renewable energy sources accounted for close to 20% (versus 16% in 2017) of total electricity production. The largest increase was in the hydropower segment (+27.5%). Wind and solar power also made substantial contributions with increases of 15.3% and 11.3%, respectively. Nuclear power generation was up 3.7% year-on-year but, like in 2017, its share of total electricity generation was near the lowest level since 1992. Logically, rising overall power production led to a sharp reduction in fossil-fired thermal generation: the latter ended the year down by 26.8% whereas renewable generation was up 21.9%.

Produced energy TWh Change 2018/2017 Share of generation
Net generation 548,6 +3,7% 100%
Nuclear 393,2 +3,7% 71,7%
Fossil-fired thermal 39,4 -26,8% 7,2%
of which coal 5,8 -40,3% 1,1%
of which oil 2,2 -26,6% 0,4%
of which gas 31,4 -23,6% 5,7%
Hydropower 68,3 +27,5% 12,4%
of which renewable 63,1 +30% 11,5%
Wind 27,8 +15,3% 5,1%
Solar 10,2 +11,3% 1,9%
Bioenergy 9,7 +2,3% 1,8%
of which biogas 2,4 +7,3% 0,4%
of which biomass 2,8 +4,8% 0,5%
of which paper waste 0,3 -10,1% 0,1%
of which non-renewable municipal waste 2,1 -0,9% 0,4%
of which renewable municipal waste 2,1 -0,9% 0,4%

 

Closer look

Better understanding

Closer look

The future of the energy mix

Wind power, tidal and wave energy… marine energy sources hold real potential. Their integration into the power system will contribute to a successful energy transition and the development of a new industry. MAG RTE&Vous describes how RTE and its partners are meeting the challenges involved in connecting these new power sources to the grid

Better understanding

Closer look

Better understanding