Solar panels

Energy transition

With the Act of 17 August 2015 on energy transition for green growth, France committed fully to energy transformation in the 21st century. It provided the essential tools for energy transition and made France a reference in the field. The Act is already in effect: more than 50 provisions are for immediate application.


Eliminating global warming and lowering the energy consumption of French citizens and France as a nation, which amounts to nearly €70 billion, provides an opportunity to tackle unemployment through green growth, profit from new technologies and conquer new markets in the fields of renewable energies, clean transport and energy efficiency.

The Act of 17 August 2015 on energy transition for green growth seeks to enhance France’s energy autonomy, cut its greenhouse gas emissions and provide effective tools to all stakeholders in order to boost green growth. The Act, providing for action and mobilisation, is binding on the whole country, including citizens, businesses, territories and public authorities. It is already in effect: more than 50 provisions are for immediate application. It will stimulate green growth by promoting activity in the construction, renewables and clean transport sectors and the development of circular economies. The government is determined to create 100,000 jobs in the process. The Act will also have a social component including a "zero waste" target and fuel poverty prevention. The Act will also be socially progressive, by providing a better quality of life and better health.

France validated its new energy model on 17 August 2015 by enacting the energy transition act for green growth.

Six major objectives

The Act sets out medium- and long-term objectives for national energy production and consumption: 

  1. Cut greenhouse gas emissions to contribute to the target of a 40% decrease in EU emissions by 2030 (compared with 1990 levels);
  2. Cut France’s consumption of fossil fuels by 30% by 2030;
  3. Reduce the share of nuclear energy to 50% of electricity production by 2025;
  4. Increase the share of renewables to 32% of final energy consumption by 2030 and to 40% of electricity production;
  5. Halve France’s final energy consumption by 2050 (compared with 2012);
  6. Cut waste going into landfills by 50% by 2050.

The Government has also set itself the target of pricing carbon at €56 per tonne by 2020 and at €100 by 2023, for the carbon component of the tax on energy products consumption.

Financing energy transition
  • The fund provided by the Caisse des dépôts (the French state-controlled financial institution) has been increased by €5 billion. Loans will be used primarily for the financing of initiatives at territory level: energy renewal and PlusEnergy buildings, clean transport and renewables.
  • The Caisse des dépôts energy transition financing fund has €1.5 billion at its disposal over three years. It will primarily allow for increasing of the heating fund (fonds chaleur), for financing of energy refurbishment initiatives for private-sector dwellings, and to support the winners of competitive tenders in the waste prevention and PlusEnergy sectors.
  • The ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) "air" fund will incentivise local authorities and groupings of local authorities to set in place an assistance fund for the renewal of inefficient individual wood burners.

Energy-efficient buildings and homes

There are a number of measures to reduce the energy consumption of buildings and homes:

  • An energy transition tax credit is applicable to up to 30% of the cost of works, up to a limit of €8,000 of works for a single person and €16,000 for a couple.
  • An interest-free loan can be used for financing energy refurbishment works.
  • Energy refurbishment help centres provide information and advice to individuals on their renewal works.
  • It is now compulsory to carry out energy refurbishment works when renovating a facade, re-roofing or undertaking a loft conversion.

75,000 jobs can be created within companies and for builders by fast-tracking thermal refurbishment projects.

Clean transport

The Act makes provision for the development of clean, cheaper and less polluting travel, namely through:

  • Incentives for the purchasing of clean vehicles by individuals (the €10,000 electric car bonus has been in place since 1 April 2015, to replace an old, polluting diesel vehicle), by the State (50% of fleet renewals with low-emissions vehicles), by local authorities (20%) of buses and coaches (100% of these will be low-emissions vehicles by 2025) and vehicle hire companies, taxis and chauffeured vehicles (10% of replaced vehicles will be low-emissions vehicles).
  • Business mobility plans promoting car-pooling between employees.
  • Incentivising of commuting by bike and tax breaks for businesses.
  • An energy transition tax credit to finance the installation in homes of electric vehicle recharging points.

Waste recycling

The Act aims for zero waste, by recycling waste products into materials. The following measures will play a role in this:

  • Experimenting with displaying the lifespan of several consumer products.
  • Control of planned obsolescence of consumer products.
  • The prohibition of non-compostable plastic bags (plastics recycling will be progressively extended to include all plastics, including cling film).
  • Food waste prevention in State and local authority canteens.

Preference given to renewables

The following are some of the concrete measures that will serve to increase the role of renewables:

  • Roll-out of the single permit for wind, methane production and hydro.
  • Supporting the development of 1,500 methane production plants over 3 years to produce energy from agricultural waste.
  • Purchase obligation tariffs to finance renewable electricity that is self-generated and consumed by individuals and businesses.

In the marine energy sector, 10,000 jobs are envisaged for France as a sector leader in Europe.

Preventing fuel poverty

This is also provided for by the Act, through measures such as:

  • Installation of smart meters for electricity (Linky) and gas (Gazpar). 11,000 jobs are envisaged, with an investment of €6 billion.
  • Introduction of an energy cheque for the 4 million poorest households. The decree has been published on 10 May 2016.
  • 30% of financing from energy-efficiency certificates will be used to prevent fuel poverty.


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