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France’s power generation rose by 11%, while consumption fell by 3.2% in 2023

France’s electricity consumption at normal climate declined by 3.2% in 2023 to reach 445.4 TWh, according to the country’s power transmission system operator RTE. This decrease in consumption is explained partly by continued efforts towards energy savings in administrations, businesses and households, with the launch of a second government plan in October 2023. This decrease in consumption is more significant than those observed between 2021 and 2022 (-1.1%), and between 2008 and 2009 following the economic crisis (-1.5%), and is close to the 2020 drop in consumption during the Covid pandemic (-3.7%). 

In addition, RTE unveiled that total power generation in France increased by 11% between 2022 and 2023, while remaining below pre-2020 levels. Power production from nuclear rose by 15%, while production from wind and solar power reached record levels (+31% and +16%, respectively), representing nearly 15% of the power generation mix in 2023. Hydropower production, which remained the second largest electricity production sector, saw a 18% recovery compared to 2022. Power production from gas fell by 32% in 2023, while production from coal reached a record low, representing only 0.2% of the French power generation mix.

Finally, in 2023, France regained its historic position as a net exporter of electricity with a balance of 50.1 TWh, thanks to higher power generation. In 2022, the country was a net importer of electricity (16.5 TWh balance in the direction of imports), which has not happened since 1980.