The world’s bioenergy production capacity has been constantly increasing since 2010, exceeding 115,000 megawatts in 2018. In the same year, French production capacity reached 1,700 megawatts.
However, bioenergy industry development in France is not homogeneous between regions. Bioenergetic power is better connected to the electric grid in the Paris region than in Brittany. The regional electricity mix also highlights major differences. Nouvelle-Aquitaine proudly shows more than three percent of its electricity consumption coming from bioenergy sources, while the country average 1.4 percent.
Coming from biomass and therefore from non-fossil materials, biofuels represent a booming market. As proof, the world production of these agrofuels has increased from ten million metric tons of oil equivalent (toe) in 2001, to nearly 100 million tons in 2018.
The same phenomenon can be observed on a national level. French biofuel production, below 500 toe in 2005, had quadrupled in 2018.
In 2018, nearly 40 percent of French people identified biofuels as an energy source to be developed. The growth of the sector, and of the bioenergy industry in general, is transforming the region thanks to new infrastructure throughout France.
If production capacities have been able to increase this way, it is also thanks to a sharp increase in jobs creation. In the biogas sector, the number of direct jobs doubled between 2010 and 2017. The growth rate is similar for industry turnover, with nearly 700 million euros generated in 2017.
Where can we place France in this fast-moving market? France is ranked sixth among the main biofuel producers just behind China, so it does not seem that France has fallen too far behind. However, with about three percent of world production, France is neck and neck with Argentina and China. This is a far cry from the United States, which generated nearly 40 percent of world production.