Hydropower, or hydroelectric power, has been produced in France since the end of the 19th century. It emits no CO2 and is the leading source of renewable energy. With nearly 10% of its electricity generated in hydroelectric plants, EDF is currently the leading hydropower producer in Europe.
Renewable, responsive and controlled energy
Hydropower is currently the world’s third largest source of energy for electricity generation, behind coal and natural gas. Hydropower uses water to generate electricity sustainably, flexibly and competitively and it has ecological benefits since it emits no CO2. It is a major source of energy at a time when protecting the environment is more important than ever. Outstripping wind, biomass, geothermal and solar power, hydroelectric energy is currently theleading renewable source of energy for power generation.
Of the world’s 10 leading hydropower producer countries, five use it to generate more than half the electricity they consume: Norway, Brazil, Russia, Canada and Sweden.
Hydropower now accounts for 16% of world electricity generation.
EDF, the EU leader in hydropower
With 20 GW of installed capacity in France, 2.8 GW in Switzerland, 1.36 GW in Italy, 3 MW in Slovakia, 73 MW in Belgium and 25 MW in Austria, EDF Group is now Europe’s leading hydropower producer. This gives EDF a major role: between now and 2020, Europe will have to generate 20% of the electricity it consumes from renewables.
In France, the hydropower generated by a network of 436 power plants and 622 dams accounts for 10% of EDF’s output, on average.
EDF is continuing to modernise its fleet and expand it by increasing the capacity of a number of hydroelectric facilities (La Coche and La Bâthie in the Savoie department) and by building new dams (Romanche-Gavet in the Isère department and Rizzanese in Corsica).
EDF exports its internationally respected hydroelectric expertise. For example, over a period of 25 years the Group designed and built South-East Asia’s largest dam, Nam Theun 2, in Laos. The exceptional project, hailed by a large number of NGOs, was supported by the World Bank under its environmental and social programme. The Nam Theun Power Company (NTPC) has been operating the facility since 2010. EDF Group holds a 40% interest in NTPC. The other shareholders are a Thai company, EGCO (Electricity Generating Public Company Limited), with a 35% holding, and a Laotian state company, LHSE (Lao Holding State Enterprise), which holds 25%.
In 2014, EDF was also selected to operate the future Sinop dam in Brazil.