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The Power consumption in France (2017 - 2020, GWh)

  • The Power consumption in France reached 411,984 GWh in 2020

  • The indicator recorded a historical decline at a CAGR of 1.94% between 2017 to 2020

The Power consumption in France (2017 - 2020, GWh)

Published: November 2021
Source: GlobalData

Why did the power consumption in France decline in 2020?

Power consumption grew at a low-single digit CAGR between 2000 to 2020. In 2020, the power consumption fell by a low-single digit due to the restrictions imposed by the French government to curb the spread of COVID-19. The annual power consumption is estimated to decline between 2020 to 2030.

Power consumption is the net electricity consumed by the end users by excluding losses and own consumption and after adjusting exports and imports in a calendar year (fiscal year in some cases). The unit is represented in Gigawatt hours (GWh) and the scope is limited to historic period.

Supply Security

France derives most of its electricity from nuclear power and hydropower. In 2020, installed nuclear power capacity accounted for a significant share of its total capacity, as well as its annual generation – while hydropower accounted for a low-double-digit share of total capacity, as well as annual generation. Electricity consumption dropped in 2014 due to warmer weather. However, in 2015, consumption improved Electricity. consumption also witnessed a fall in 2020 due to national lockdowns imposed by the French government to curb the spread of COVID-19.


The French government is planning to reduce the share of nuclear power generation by 2035 in comparison to 2015 levels. In order to achieve this target, numerous active nuclear reactors will have to be shut down in coming years. Since the government is also closing coal-based power plants and decommissioning numerous oil-fired power plants, this would put too much of a pressure on the country’s ability to meet electricity demand and would endanger its energy security. The dominance of the nuclear and hydropower in overall power generation and its drawback was seen in the winters of 2015-2016. A dip in winter temperatures caused electricity consumption to soar causing the country to fall back on increased imports. Some of the nuclear power units were closed for safety overhauls during this time, while reduced precipitation caused reservoir levels to decline – thus reducing hydropower generation, affecting overall generation.

The promotion of renewable power in the country will need more investment in the development of new transmission infrastructure as most renewable power generation sites are situated remotely, far away from the consumption hubs.

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