A long-standing tradition of hydropower coupled with a strong capacity for innovation


Hydroelectricity is emerging as one of the solutions to the challenges of fighting climate change and ensuring the widespread adoption of renewable energy. Around the globe, hydroelectric power generation is earning its stripes as an efficient and profitable way of producing and storing energy. In addition, hydropower is local: it depends on local manpower, contributes to the local economy, and is integrated into local water resource management policies. In France, hydropower is the leading source of renewably-generated electricity, with an installed base of 25 GW at end-2015. France’s hydropower infrastructure encompasses more than 2,500 plants. The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is France’s leading hydroelectricity producer.

In France, traditional gravity-based hydropower accounts for nearly 78% of total renewable—and greenhouse-gas-emissions-free—electricity production. Dams are used to create reservoirs of water that can be constantly adjusted to match supply with demand. Unlike thermal and nuclear power plants, hydropower plants can ramp up to maximum capacity in just a few minutes.

In addition, pumped-storage hydroelectricity plants can store water’s gravitational potential energy to respond to demand from the grid when needed. Hydropower’s flexibility and responsiveness make it perfect for use in tandem with intermittent renewables like solar and wind. Plus, pumped-storage hydroelectricity plants offer massive, efficient energy storage to round out the installed base of nuclear power plants.


The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region—where hydropower was invented—is today one of Europe’s leading centers for hydroelectricity research and engineering.


Tenerrdis supports innovation in the following areas :



62Tenerrdis members

18collaborative R&D projects and prototypes/demonstrator systems

€442 Milliontotal R&D spending