Following the electricity market’s opening to competition, the 2004 law on electricity and gas as a public service and on electricity and gas related companies turned EDF into a private company. Then in 2006, the provisions of the law on water and aquatic environment suppressed the preference right the company had on the renewal of hydraulic concessions which is now subject to an opening to competition with a call for tenders, in regards of the provisions of the “Sapin” law of 1993.
In April 2010, the State announced that 10 hydroelectric concessions with a cumulated power of 5300 MW, regrouping several dams and plants in concessive ranges, would be renewed by 2015. As a matter of fact, the hydroelectric concessions in the Alps (upstream Drac range, Beaufortain range and Bissorte complex), in the Pyrenees (valleys of Ossau, Louron and Têt) and in the Massif Central (valleys of Dordogne and Truyere) were to be attributed between 2013 and 2015. Selection wise, the French State retained 3 criteria: energy, environment, and economy.
Even though the first calls for tenders should have been launch early 2011 and that the French Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, endowed itself for 4.7 million euros a year for outside counsel, the procedure is still awaiting a political impulse.
The following note, in French, explains in detail all the reasons why the State has to get the renewal procedure underway as soon as possible.