Électricité de France

Électricité de France S.A.
Société anonyme
Traded as Euronext: EDF
Industry Electric utility
Founded 1946 (1946)
Founder Marcel Paul
Headquarters Paris, France
Area served
Key people
Jean-Bernard Lévy (Chairman and CEO)
Products Electricity generation, transmission and distribution; energy trading
Revenue €72.874 billion (2014)[1]
€17.279 billion (2014)[1]
Profit €3.701 billion (2014)[1]
Total assets $303.01 billion (2016)[2]
Total equity €40.610 billion (end 2014)[1]
Owner French State : (84.5%)[3][4]
Number of employees
158,161 (FTE, average 2014)[1]
Subsidiaries EDF Energy, EDF Luminus
Website www.edf.com

Électricité de France S.A. (EDF; Electricity of France) is a French electric utility company, largely owned by the French state. Headquartered in Paris, France, with €65.2 billion in revenues in 2010, EDF operates a diverse portfolio of 120+ gigawatts of generation capacity in Europe, South America, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

In 2009, EDF was the world's largest producer of electricity.[5] In 2011, it produced 22% of the European Union's electricity, primarily from nuclear power:

Its 58 active nuclear reactors (in France) are spread out over 20 sites (nuclear power plants). They comprise 34 reactors of 900 MWe, 20 reactors of 1300 MWe, and 4 reactors of 1450 MWe, all PWRs.

The EDF group


EDF specialises in electricity, from engineering to distribution. The company's operations include the following: electricity generation and distribution; power plant design, construction and dismantling; energy trading; and transport. It is active in such power generation technologies as nuclear power, hydropower, marine energies, wind power, solar energy, biomass, geothermal energy and fossil-fired energy.[7]

Distribution network (RTE and Enedis)

The electricity network in France is composed of the following:


Head office

EDF head office, 22–30 avenue de Wagram, Paris 8th arr.

The EDF head office is located along Avenue de Wagram in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The EDF head office is shared between several EDF sites in Greater Paris.[10]

The directorate



Main partners and affiliates

EDF tower, La Défense, near Paris


Status of EDF

EDF was founded on 8 April 1946, as a result of the nationalisation of around 1,700 smaller energy producers, transporters and distributors by the Minister of Industrial Production Marcel Paul. A state-owned EPIC, it became the main electricity generation and distribution company in France, enjoying a monopoly in electricity generation, although some small local distributors were retained by the nationalisation.[13] This monopoly ended in 1999, when EDF was forced by a European Directive to open up 20% of its business to competitors.[14]

Until 19 November 2004, EDF was a state-owned corporation, but it is now a limited-liability corporation under private law (société anonyme), after its status was changed by statute. The French government partially floated shares of the company on the Paris Stock Exchange in November 2005,[15] although it retained almost 85% ownership as of the end of 2008.[16]

On 22 November 2016, French competition regulators raided EDF offices, looking for evidence that EDF was abusing its dominant position to manipulate electricity prices and squeeze rivals.[17]


Between 2001 and 2003, EDF was forced to reduce its equity capital by €6.4 billion total because of the performance of subsidiaries in South America and Europe. In 2001, it also acquired a number of British energy companies, becoming the UK's biggest electricity supplier.[18]

The company remains heavily in debt. Its profitability suffered during the recession which began in 2008. It made €3.9 billion in 2009, which fell to €1.02 billion in 2010, with provisions set aside amounting to €2.9 billion.[19]

In January 2013 EDF sold its 1.6% stake in U.S. utility Exelon for $470 million.[20]

In March 2016 EDF's Chief Financial Officer, Thomas Piquemal, who had argued that the final investment decision on building Hinkley Point C nuclear power station should be delayed for three years, resigned. With EDF's market value halved over the preceding year, the cost of the Hinkley Point C project now exceeded the entire market capitalisation of EDF.[21][22]

Energy policy

EDF produces its electricity primarily from nuclear power plants

France is the main country to use electricity of nuclear origin as the dominant method of production (78% of French production in 2007).

In May, 2004, the French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy reasserted, in front of the French Parliament, the primacy of a nuclear power, much to the relief of labour unions of EDF. In this speech the minister re-phrased the famous slogan, "We do not have oil, but we have ideas", by declaring: "We do not have oil, we do not have gas, we do not have coal, but we had ideas". Depleted uranium from reprocessing the spent fuel of the 58 French nuclear power plants was exported from Le Havre to Russia in the last years and stored in Seversk where it was enriched, and the new fuel was exported back to France.[23]

In 2013 EDF acknowledged the difficulties it was having building the new EPR nuclear reactor design, with its head of production and engineering, Hervé Machenaud, saying EDF had lost its dominant international position in design and construction of nuclear power stations.[24] In September 2015 EDF's chief executive Jean-Bernard Lévy stated that the design of a "New Model" EPR was being worked on, which will be easier to build, to be ready for orders from about 2020.[25]

In 2016 EDF's chief executive Jean-Bernard Lévy stated that EDF's 2030 strategy increased the emphasis on renewable energy, with a 2030 goal of doubling renewable energy capacity worldwide. He stated "I am convinced that we will still have a centralised and secure system in the future but it will be supplemented by a more intermittent and local decentralised system, in which customers will take charge of their consumption. In readiness for this, we must press on with research into electricity storage and smart electricity systems".[26]

EDF spying conviction

In 2011, a French court fined EDF €1.5m and jailed two senior employees for spying on Greenpeace, including hacking into Greenpeace's computer systems. Greenpeace was awarded €500,000 in damages.[27] Although EDF claimed that a security firm had only been employed to monitor Greenpeace, the court disagreed, jailing the head and deputy head of EDF's nuclear security operation for three years each. Two employees of the security firm, Kargus, run by a former member of France's secret services, received sentences of three and two years respectively.[28][29]

DDoS attack on EDF site

EDF's website was brought down by DDoS attacks three times in 2011, twice in April and once later in June.[30]

The attacks were claimed by the hacktivist group Anonymous. Three men were later arrested and interviewed on charges of "obstructing functionality of a data processing service", "fraudulent access of a data processing service" and "participation to an association formed with the aim of preparing such infractions".[30]

Motivations for the attack were thought to relate to the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.[30] Unlike Switzerland and Germany, who plan to close down all nuclear reactors at the end of their lifespan, the government of France had no such plans to move away from nuclear power and three months after the Fukushima meltdown, stated a budget increase for nuclear power.[31]

The downtime of the EDF website cost the company an estimated €162,000.[32]

Suing No Dash For Gas

In February 2013 EDF Energy sought an estimated £5 million in damages from environmental activists from the No Dash for Gas campaign that occupied the EDF-owned West Burton CCGT power station in October 2012.[33][34]

It is unusual in the UK for companies to seek damages from protesters.[35] On 13 March 2013, EDF dropped their lawsuit against the protesters, after agreeing a permanent injunction against protesters entering EDF sites.[36]

Renewable energies

Plug-in hybrids and V2G

Further information: Plug-in hybrid and V2G

EDF has developed recharging points for the Toyota Plug-in HV in France[37]

The French government has contributed $550 million to a partnership by Électricité de France with Renault-Nissan and with PSA Peugeot Citroen.[38]

Carbon Intensity

year Production (TWh) Emission (Mt CO2) kg CO2/MWh
2002 650 91.35 141
2003 669 96.34 144
2004 647 95.74 148
2005 647 93.52 145
2006 655 93.35 142
2007 706 101.91 144
2008 704 103.79 147
2009 652 88.09 135


Main competitors

Apart from the producers and foreign distributors, in France, there are some important companies, which, although their market share is weak with regard to that of EDF, are a significant competition. These are:

Locally controlled or between local councils

Among the other rivals of EDF, one can count a number of municipally governed companies, known under the generic term 'entreprises locales de distribution' ('local businesses of distribution'), who are electricity producers exploiting EDF's network.

The nationalisation of electricity and gas on 8 April 1946, which profoundly changed the French electrical and gas organization, had however acknowledged the right of villages to keep their role in the public distribution of electricity and gas.

In 1946, certain firms, villages or groups of villages, did not accept the proposal of nationalisation and created autonomous state controls (who held the monopoly of distribution, until 2004, in their area). To note, contrary to the initial idea, local controllers of electricity, have had, since 1946, the choice to continue to produce electricity. In fact, their production was rather marginal, except in Rhône-Alpes; having often preferred buying the majority of the electrical power from EDF. With the recent opening of the electricity market, local controllers are considering developing, augmenting and diversifying their own production, (e.g. Ouest Énergie, the subsidiary company of SIEDS) and/or to diversify their sources of supply.

To date, the number of local businesses of distribution is approximately 170 and holds 5% of the distribution of French electrical power in 2,500 villages. Created by local authorities, they serve about 3 million people and represent 7,000 jobs. Around thirty of them – 9 during creation in 1962 – are federated in a national entity known as ANROC.[40]

Several departments are not therefore served entirely or partly by EDF, for instance:

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Annual Results 2014" (PDF). Électricité de France. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  2. http://www.forbes.com/companies/edf/
  3. https://www.edf.fr/en/the-edf-group/dedicated-sections/finance/financial-information/the-edf-share/shareholding-structure
  4. "Les participations publiques" (in French). Agence des participations de l'État. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  5. AFP (August 2010)
  6. "Fuel Mix". EDF website. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  7. "Activités". EDF website. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  8. "Enedis". Enedis website. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  9. "De EDF GDF a Engie: tout comprendre". Engie website. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  10. "EDF : Pierre Gadonneix a son bureau avenue de Wagram." Le Journal du Net. Retrieved on 25 November 2010. "Cependant, le siège social se situe intra-muros, avenue de Wagram, dans le 8e arrondissement."
  11. EDF at a Glance
  12. EDF en Espagne
  13. 1 2 Document de Référence (PDF). Paris: EDF. 2009. pp. 33–34.
  14. Tiersky, Ronald (2004). Europe today: National politics, European integration, and European security. London: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 280.
  15. Bennhold, Katrin (21 November 2005). "EDF shares fail to light up market". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  16. "Shareholding policy". Électricité de France. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  17. "France's nuclear-energy champion is in turmoil". The Economist. 3 December 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  18. "French become UK's biggest power distributor". The Independent. 20 November 2001.
  19. "Electricite de France profits fall 74% on downturn". 15 February 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  20. "EDF sells shares in US utility Exelon". Nuclear Engineering International. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  21. Michael Stothard (7 March 2016). "EDF finance chief quits over decision to push on with Hinkley Point". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  22. Terry Macalister (7 March 2016). "Hinkley Point nuclear project in crisis as EDF finance director resigns". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  23. Frankfurter Rundschau, 13 October 2009
  24. "EDF eyes development of new, smaller reactors - papers". Reuters. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  25. Geert De Clercq (23 September 2015). "Only China wants to invest in Britain's new £2bn Hinkley Point nuclear station because no one else thinks it will work, EDF admits". The Independent. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  26. "Interview Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO EDF: "Our Future Lies in Combination Nuclear and Renewables"". the energycollective. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  27. Richard Black (10 November 2011). "EDF fined for spying on Greenpeace nuclear campaign". BBC. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  28. Hanna Gersmann (10 November 2011). "EDF fined €1.5m for spying on Greenpeace". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  29. Henry Samuel (10 November 2011). "EDF found guilty of spying on Greenpeace France". The Telegraph.
  30. 1 2 3 Nathalie Balsan-Duverneuil (26 January 2012). "Un "Anonymous" a été arrêté dans le département". Midi Libre. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  31. Dave Levitan (27 June 2011). "France Doubles Down on Nuclear Power". IEEE Spectrum. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  32. Elodie Gueguen (26 January 2012). "Des Anonymous en garde à vue". France Info. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  33. Garvin, Daniel (21 February 2013). "How to occupy a power station: exclusive footage of No Dash For Gas as they prepare to shut down the West Burton plant – video". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2013. Environmental activists No Dash For Gas occupied two 300ft chimneys at the EDF-owned gas-fired power station in West Burton, Nottinghamshire, in November 2012. Exclusive footage shows the group's meticulous preparation for the action. They closed the facility for eight days – the longest occupation of a power plant in the UK. Protesters reject government plans to invest heavily in new gas power stations and instead call for massive investment in renewables
  34. "Press release: EDF suing climate activists for £5 million - protesters face losing homes". No Dash for Gas. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013. Following the week-long shut-down and occupation of EDF’s West Burton gas-fired power station last October by campaign group 'No Dash for Gas', EDF has launched a civil claim for damages against the group and associated activists for costs the company claims to have incurred – a figure it puts at £5 million
  35. Ball, James (20 February 2013). "Activists claim police siding with power company EDF in lawsuit". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2013. The action includes an injunction barring those named from the site, but – in an unusual move in the UK – also has a provision to recover damages, interest, and court costs from the activists. ... John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace ... "EDF's lawsuit represents the opening of a new front against peaceful protest"
  36. Ball, James (13 March 2013). "EDF drops lawsuit against environmental activists after backlash". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  37. EDF et Toyota annoncent un partenariat technologique en Europe relatif aux véhicules hybrides rechargeables
  38. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2008/10/13/french-president-gives-evs-hybrids-green-light/
  39. source
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