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France: Growth in Electricity Transmission Network [free access]

June 17, 2020

As of December 2019, France’s transmission network comprised about 106,008 circuit km of line length at the 45 kV and above voltage levels. Of the total line length, the majority, or about 52 per cent, was at the 45 kV to 90 kV levels, followed by 26 per cent at 225 kV and 21 per cent at 400 kV. 

 

Since 2015, France's transmission line network has increased marginally, with net additions being a little over 316 circuit km, growing at a CAGR of 0.07 per cent between 2015 and 2019. The country’s transmission network saw an increase in underground cable (UGC) line length, which increased from just 5,220 circuit km in 2015 to 6,234 circuit km in 2019. 

 

The UGC network at 225 kV grew at a CAGR of 5.23 per cent during 2015-19 to reach 1,578 circuit km. Meanwhile, the overhead lines at 225 kV declined from 25,616 circuit km in 2015 to 25,596 circuit km in 2019. By 2019, overhead lines accounted for over 94 per cent of the total transmission line length in France, while UGCs accounted for around 6 per cent. 

 

Table 1: Growth in France's transmission line length (circuit km)

Voltage 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

400 kV (OHL+UGC)

 21,820 

 22,029 

 22,033 

 22,035 

 22,033 

320 kV DC (UGC)

 66 

 66 

 66 

 66 

 66 

270 kV DC (UGC + USC)

 117 

 117 

 117 

 117 

 117 

225 kV (OHL+UGC)

 26,903 

 26,872 

 27,032 

 27,086 

 27,174 

150 kV (OHL+UGC)

 1,047 

 961 

 953 

 961 

 961 

200 kV DC (USC)

 60 

 60 

 60 

 60 

 60 

45-90 kV (OHL+UGC)

 55,679 

 55,798 

 55,749 

 55,598 

 55,597 

Total

 105,692 

 105,903 

 106,019 

 105,923 

 106,008 

–OHL 

100,412 

100,203 

99,851 

99,549 

99,714 

–UGC 

5,220 

5,640 

6,108 

6,314 

6,234 

–USC 

60 

60 

60 

60 

60 

Notes: OHL – overhead line; UGC – underground cable; USC – undersea cable

Source: Reseau de Transport d'Electricite; Global Transmission Research

 

The transformer capacity stood at 246 GVA as of 2019, increasing from 237 GVA in 2015 and registering a CAGR of around 0.88 per cent. During 2015-19, close to 85 substations were commissioned. 

 

Figure 1: Growth in France's transformer capacity (MVA)

Note: The data is for RTE only. 2017-2019 estimates are based on the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2006 and 2016.

Source: Reseau de Transport d'Electricite; Global Transmission Research