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france - an example for sustainable power production

France saw an unprecedented development of solar capacities in 2021, three times more than in previous years, according to RTE's [Reseau Transmission Energie - Energy Transmission Network], just published annual report. Low-carbon (not emitting greenhouse gases) electricity production in France reached more than 92% in 2021, with very limited use of fossil-fuel powered production. The carbon contribution in the French electricity mix is thus one of the lowest in the world, six times less than the European average.

France has also retained its position as the leading European exporter of electricity according to the RTE report. Exports s (87 TWh of exports and 44 TWh of imports) vary greatly according to periods and borders. The main source of production, nuclear, provided 361 TWh, or 69% of French electricity.

Nuclear, the main source of production

Nuclear power produced 522.9 TWh of electricity in 2021. This was 2.7% less than 2019 because several nuclear stations were down for maintenance at the en of 2021.

Less 'renewable' production

2021 also saw an unprecedented increase in solar capacities, with nearly 2.7 GW newly installed, three times more than the average installed in recent years. Thus, solar production increased by 13% compared to 2020 (14.3 TWh).

However, the total renewable generation fell in 2021 due to unfavorable weather conditions for wind power, that produced 36.8 TWh or 7% less, and hydropower producing 62.5 TWh, or 5% less.

Thus, the carbon contribution in the French electricity mix remains one of the lowest in the world, a carbon contribution of 36 gCO2/kWh, or 6 times less than the European average.

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