Renewable energy and energy mix in Aquitaine

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Electricity consumption, particularly renewable energy, has changed very little in New Aquitaine, at around 39.5 TWh in 2017. The region is one of the most dynamic economically, with an ever-changing distribution. It mixes, imports, from other French regions or from Spain, and exports to these same regions. The network is also being modernized with the burying of electrical cables (up 133 kilometres in 2017).

One of the highest energy consumption in France

The mix ofenergy consumption in New Aquitaine is distributed between professionals and individuals who represent 21.3 TWh. This represents an increase of more than 2.5%, SMEs and PMIs (13.6 TWh), and finally the big industries (4.4 TWh). What characterizes consumption in New Aquitaine is a higher thermosensitivity than the national average. New Aquitaines are easily inclined to increase their heating or use their air conditioning system. This creates very large differences in electricity consumption, with electricity producers having to anticipate the slightest fluctuations in consumption.

Nuclear power in the lead despite the increase in renewable energy

New Aquitaine’s 2017 electricity balance shows an increase in the use of renewable energy. However, the share of nuclear electricity remains very majority with more than 82.3% of energy production, an increase of more than 7%. The efforts put in place on clean energy can still be highlighted. Thus, in 2017, wind and solar power plants increased by 27% and 18% respectively.

The Region has wind-covered areas for wind energy production. It also benefits from long-sunny areas for the use of solar panels. New Aquitaine thus holds the largest solar panel park in France, ahead of Occitanie. The overall decrease in rainfall last year, however, reduced hydropower generation by 28%, although the majority share of hydropower in the renewable energy mix. Indeed, France has long worked on the exploitation of its hydraulic power.

A global ecological project

The increase in the share of renewable energy is part of the project to reach 30% of clean energy production in the energy mix by 2030. The aim is to minimize national dependence on fossil fuels and at the same time reduce the impact on global warming. The law passed in 2017 aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and reduce the share of nuclear power to 50%. Today, the goal is still far from being achieved because nuclear power still holds the top spot of the energy sources used. Beyond the production of energy, the construction of smarter, better insulated buildings are also a path to explore.

Sources:

RTE press release

2016 Energy Consumption Review

Renewable energy use review

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