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European Utility Week (EUW) 2019, Why France?

11 November 2019
by businessfrance -- last modified 11 November 2019

This year’s European Utility Week is taking place in Paris, following its selection as European Capital of Innovation last year by the EU. It is “an ideal location as it is not only on the doorstep of French industry, it is also easily accessible for the increasing number of power and utility companies from across Europe […]", says EUW director Paddy Young.


Smart Grids in France

Whether it is the production, distribution, consumption or storage of energy, Smart Grids play a key role in adapting electricity networks to energy transition. Within a global market estimated at €30 billion, the French smart grids sector represents €6 billion in turnover, half of which comes from exports (Source: Think Smartgrids 2018).

France also exports more electricity than any other country in Europe after Germany (51.7 TWh from 2017-2018) (Source: RTE, 2018).

There are over 150 active Smart Grids projects in France.

4 regions have launched major projects:

    • Southern France Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (Flexgrid)
    • Brittany & Pays de la Loire (Smile)
    • Northern French Hauts-de-France (You&Grid)

A healthy ecosystem: large groups and smart start-ups

In addition to the country's several international groups in the electricity sector, such as EDF and Engie, the 2 largest electricity producers in France, the French Smart Grids industry has many talented start-ups. They operate in fields as varied as communication protocols, the prediction of photovoltaic energy production and the measurement & control of electrical consumption in buildings. Competitions dedicated to young start-ups, such as Cleantech Open France or EDF Pulse, encourage innovation.

These large groups and start-ups are made up of a competitive engineering workforce that has benefited from high quality training. The country has a growing number of Smart Grid oriented degree courses at institutions such as Grenoble INP, ECAM-EPMI, CNAM and EISTI.

Investment in France's Smart Grid sector

R&D receives €100 million in investment a year in France. The country comes 2nd in Europe for financing pilot projects.

  • Japanese firm, Toshiba, has co-developed the Lyon Smart Community project with the French city of Lyon.
  • Californian company, Cisco, which specialises in network equipment, has invested $200 million in French start-ups, particularly in the smart grids sector.
  • Itron, an American specialist in technological solutions for energy and water companies, has 7 production sites in France.

Meet over 60 French exhibitors representing the expertise and sheer variety of companies in the sector

The French Pavilion at the EUW & POWERGEN Europe trade shows will extend over 550 m² of exhibition space. It will be a showcase of French leaders in energy efficiency, from successful regional projects to start-ups, ETIs, SMEs, large groups.

More than 60 French companies will be on & around the French Pavilion to showcase the country's smart energy ecosystem looking to achieve a smooth transition towards a low carbon energy supply (Hall 1, at the show entrance).

The business activities of a selection of the French Pavilion exhibitors at European Utility Week 2019 are explored in more detail in our press pack (available on the French Pavilion Hall 1, stand H80 or upon request).

For information about the French Pavilion, please contact:

Business France – Hall 1, stand H80

Sophie Issovits, Head of Electricity & Smart Grids Projects Tel: +33 (0)1 40 74 39 85

For further information about this press release, please contact:

Business France UK, Catherine Ryall, Senior Press Officer
Tel: +44 (0)20 7154 1239 / +44 (0)7834 167 720

Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France.

Business France
Business France

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Business France is the French national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for facilitating the development of French companies in foreign markets, as well as promoting international investments in France.

Business France also promotes the creativity and innovation of French companies, demonstrating how French talent extends beyond borders and throughout the world.

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