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Electricity in France

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  1. Introduction
  2. What is the greenhouse effect?
  3. The determining factors
  4. The heat wave in summers, is it actually due to the greenhouse effect?
  5. Will this phenomenon happen again?
  6. Conclusion

Energy consumption in France is split between hydrocarbons (oil, natural gas), coal and electricity.
Under energy, electricity in France has a unique place because during the twentieth century, the most dominant form of energy consumed was electricity. Electricity is not like coal and oil energy sources, it is a form of energy that is always the result of a transformation that has taken place from an energy source such as water, coal or wind, for example.

During the Industrial Revolution and post-steam engine era, electricity has become possible with the invention of the dynamo in 1869 and the development four years later of the first generator. From 1950 to the present, electricity consumption has multiplied by 12. Specifically, growth in electricity demand was carried out in two phases: rapid growth until 1973 (+ 8.5% per year) and slower growth since then (4% per year). The success of electricity is due to the nature of its uses that have proven manifold.

Thus, the use of electricity has grown in all sectors: industry, transportation, service industries, domestic sphere. Moreover, the maximum production of electricity was favored by the government as it would allow the country to reduce energy dependency of France. From this perspective, the public company Electricite de France (EDF) on 8 April 1946 was created as a result of the proposed nationalization of property of various companies in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity (as in the present program CNR) by the Minister (communist) of Industries, Marcel Paul.

At present, the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity must take into account new challenges, with incalculable territorial consequences, at this juncture marked by the end of monopolies and the liberalization imposed by Brussels and by the need to reconcile economic development and the commitments of the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.

To what extent does the French electricity sector translate into the choices made by the government in energy policy?

EDF held, until the opening of markets, the near monopoly of the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. It was a virtual monopoly alongside EDF, a small independent producer of electricity from the private sector, regulated entities (Charbonnages de France, Compagnie Nationale du Rhone). But these exceptions to the monopoly account for only a marginal share of electricity production in France, the EDF is taking up to 95%. This type of rare situation in Europe, is the symbol of a French exception: in fact, the vast majority of EU countries have within their territories a competitive situation where electricity is concerned.

The fact that power generation in 1946 was entrusted to a single operator has promoted an energy policy focusing on a small number of energy sources to promote the efficiency of investment via concentrating sources. And three major energy sources were favored: electricity from hydropower and conventional thermal power provided the bulk of production until early 1980, and was then taken over by nuclear power relegating other sources to the role booster.The thermal electricity: about 64% of the electricity produced in the world are via thermal power plants.

Tags: power generation, electricity consumption in France, energy policy

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