District Energy in France

  • Country Profiles
  • 15 November 2019


Natural gas remains the main fuel source for district heating and tends to replace other fossil fuels with a higher carbon footprint, namely coal and oil. In parallel, the share of renewables and recovered energy has increased to 56% in 2017 and has more than doubled in 10 years.


Heat networks currently provide approximately 5% of France’s heat demand. However the sector is expected to grow in the near future given the ambitious target set in the 2015 Energy Transition Law. DHC from renewable and recovered energy sources is assumed to increase by a fivefold by 2030 (compared to 2012). The national low-carbon strategy (SNBC), adopted in 2019, defines the trajectory that France intends to follow in order to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. DH are an excellent vector for decarbonizing heat, which represents 50% of final energy consumption.


A working group on renewable heat and cooling was launched in March 2019 by the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition to identify and remove the barriers to the development of the sector. The Minister for Ecological and Solidarity Transition announced on 7 October 2019 the implementation of 25 measures to develop the DHC sector with 5 key objectives: increasing the mobilisation and attractiveness, improving consumer information and protection, strengthening the economic competitiveness, increasing renewable and recovery energy delivered, enhancing innovation and investing in Research & Development.



District cooling is under constant development in France, since cooling demand is growing. Most district cooling users are in the service sector (museums, offices, shops…). There are 23 district cooling systems delivering between 0.9 and 1 TWh per year. For the first time, The French multiannual energy program (Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie, PPE) quantified development objectives for DC deliveries, multiply by 3 to 2030.


If you would like to learn more, you can purchase the latest Country by Country Survey.


France is also involved in our #DHCities?️ initiative:




In addition, three other French cities are also featured in this initiative, Lyon, Somme and Tramayes. For more information on the impact of district energy at a local level, explore our #DHCities?️ map, featuring DHC decarbonisation success stories from over 35 European cities: euroheat.org/map


Useful links:

Fédération des services énergie environnement (FEDENE)

Association nationale des collectivités, des associations et des entreprises pour la gestion des déchets, de l’énergie et des réseaux de chaleur (AMORCE)

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