from the post-war world
In the France of the 1930s, around two hundred private companies generate electricity, a further hundred are involved in transmission, and more than a thousand distribute power to consumers. Supply and prices differ considerably depending on service provider and region. The creation of a single public service for electricity becomes a necessity.
France is free. But everything has to be rebuilt. The mission of EDF is an integral part of its DNA from the very beginning: we are builders of the future. A public service elevated to the status of national priority.
of major projects
In the 1950s, France embarks on a series of major projects made possible by the Marshall plan, which provides 36% of EDF investment between 1948 and 1952. Growth in electricity consumption requires the construction of high-capacity generation and transmission infrastructures.
EDF rebuilds the grid in response to new and immense levels of demand. Great dams rise from the earth to become new monuments in the national landscape. Electricity brings every family in every part of France into the modern world.
France experiences a euphoric period, matching the global annual economic growth figure of 5.3%. French people buy televisions, refrigerators and domestic appliances of every kind.
At this time, the post war boom has begun. Local authorities, firms, consumers want to grow. EDF successfully takes up the challenge.
The turning point
of the oil crisis
After years of sustained growth, France is suddenly plunged into the oil crisis of 1973. The country decides to go nuclear to guarantee its energy independence.
1973: The oil crisis. For EDF, it is a new battle to be won. In the meantime, we build the French nuclear power base: Gravelines, Paluel, Fessenheim, Civaux and many others to guarantee France's energy independence.
in the uses of electricity
Fridges, TVs, computers... consumption becomes a universal right. EDF upgrades its transmission grid and diversifies its generating resources to support the growth in demand for electricity.
As consumption increases, EDF rises to a new technological challenge to ensure national supply. The world is changing, and so is EDF.
The French electricity market is privatized, and EDF expands into the wider Europe. Trading becomes more intense, and the issues of sustainable development are embraced.
EDF publishes its Agenda 21 policy, which interprets the commitments signed by more than 150 nation states at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, and joins the UN Global Compact, which encourages companies to embrace universal principles on human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and anticorruption.
With market privatization and its flotation as a market-listed company, EDF is launched into a competitive world and restructures itself to offer its expertise to international markets.
EDF becomes a major player in the gas market with the acquisition of an equity stake in the Italian Edison Group, and the launch of construction work on an LNG terminal at Dunkerque.
The EDF Energy Teesside offshore wind park in the UK begins to feed power into the grid. This 27-turbine offshore wind farm places EDF as a leader in offshore wind farm in Europe. This demonstration of expertise results in EDF being appointed by the French government to build three wind parks offshore Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Saint-Nazaire.
EDF will never give up on progress.
New patterns of consumption, globalization and growth in emerging countries: these challenges will be successfully faced by EDF. We will always be there to continue this enormous human and industrial adventure.