Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Hydropower Country Notes
France is one of Western Europe's major producers of hydroelectricity, but its technically feasible capacity has now been very largely exploited. No more medium/large hydro plants are under construction or planned.
The total installed capacity of small-scale (less than 10 MW) plants is around
2 000 MW, which generated 5.8 TWh in 2005. There are, on the other hand, some 280 hydro plants of greater than 10 MW, with an aggregate installed capacity of more than 23 000 MW.
An Arrêté issued on 7 July 2006 in the context of the long-term plan for investments in electricity generation quotes the following targets for total hydropower (including plants of less than 10 MW, but excluding pumped storage): 500 MW additional capacity by 2010; and an additional 2 000 MW (including the aforementioned 500) by 2015. The same quantitative objectives have been set for pumped-storage plants in these years.
A buy-back tariff (Arrêté dated 25 June 2006) is in operation for hydro-electric installations with a capacity of less than 12 MW.