Normandy is well on its way to meeting France’s ambitious sustainable development goals, aiming for 40% of its energy to come from renewable sources and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Its proactive energy policies are boosting the proportion of renewable energy in overall production. Normandy has huge potential, thanks to its natural landscape which favours renewable marine energy (RME), its strategic position on the Seine which lends itself to hydrogen production, and its robust agricultural sector with ample opportunities for biogas generation.

An example to other regions

Boasting three nuclear power stations and two major refineries, Normandy stands as a powerhouse in Europe’s energy production sector. The region’s energy portfolio is expanding rapidly, with plans to introduce three offshore wind farms, numerous tidal turbines along the coast, hundreds of anaerobic digestion plants for biogas production, and the first large-scale green hydrogen plant in Port-Jérôme. Already generating 95% low-carbon energy, Normandy is fast becoming both a national and international benchmark in energy diversification.

Normandy the energy hub

  • 4th biggest electricity producer in France
  • 1st Generation III marine energy reactor
  • 2 of the biggest refineries in Europe
  • 5 offshore wind farms
  • 3rd biggest region for methanation
  • 1st region to launch a hydrogen plan
  • Biggest regional consumer of wood fuel 
  • Over 36,000 direct jobs

Areas of excellence in Normandy

EDF / Alexis Morin

Nuclear

With its plants in Penly, Paluel and Flamanville, Normandy is home to 20% of France’s core nuclear facilities. It already produces 11% of the country’s nuclear power, and this figure is set to rise: the Flamanville EPR will begin operations in 2024, and the town of Penly is set to host a pair of EPR-2 reactors as part of France’s nuclear expansion plan.

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Fuel

Two of the biggest European refineries are based in Normandy: ExxonMobil (Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon) and TotalEnergies (Gonfreville-l’Orcher). They fulfil 100% of Roissy and Orly’s fuel requirements.

EDF / DIDIER MARC / PWP
Fecamp Offshore Wind Farm (french content)

Offshore wind energy

Regular strong winds, shallow sea beds: Normandy is seen as one of the biggest marine energy deposits in France. It plays host to three offshore wind energy projects on the north coast of France: Courseulles-sur-mer (64 wind turbines, 450 MV), Dieppe-Le Tréport (62 wind turbines, 500 MV) and Fécamp (71 wind turbines, 500 MV), scheduled to launch in 2024. Two other projects are in the pipeline off the coast of Barfleur for 2030: Centre Manche 1 and Centre Manche 2. The latter will have an output of 1.5 GW and supply electricity to 1.5 million residents, the equivalent of half the regional population… 

Tidal stream generator

The Alderney Race north of La Hague is said to be the strongest current in Europe. Two tidal stream generator sites will be trialled here by 2026. The first comes from Normandie Hydroliennes and will have 4 AR3000 turbines each with an output of 3 MW (as part of the European TIGER project). Qair and HydroQuest (CMN affiliate) are behind the second site, FloWatt. The site has 7 turbines each with an output of 2.5 MW. It was awarded 65 million euros in state funding as part of the French government’s Investments for the Future programme (PIA) in summer 2023. 

Valentin PACAUT – The Explorers
7e ciel – Caen la mer
Centrale solaire de Colombelles en Normandie

Solar power

Yes, Normandy does get enough sunshine! Calvados set the scene for one of the first major urban solar power stations in France in 2018 on the former SMN site in Colombelles (29,000 panels, over 11 million KWh). The first power station in Orne stands near Surdon train station and supplies energy to three quarters of the Sources de l’Orne community. Project support (via IDEE CONSEIL) comes from the Normandie Solaire regional campaign. Normandie Energies empowers thirty consultancy businesses in the area. 

Hydrogen

Large amounts of this carbon-intensive gas are produced and consumed in Normandy (⅓ of national consumption). The region was the first in France to launch a hydrogen plan back in 2018 to make carbon-free or renewable hydrogen and create a future industry in the local area. This has seen the appearance of several projects that tie into transport (including EAS-HyMob, which launched a network of 9 hydrogen facilities) and green hydrogen production (Air Liquide Normand’Hy, Elemanta 2, Th2).

Methanation

Normandy is pulling out all the stops to make biofuel for fuel, heating and electricity! It had 161 biomethanation units in 2022 (and twenty projects per year). The region aims to have 300 methane reactors in action and 10% biofuel in its networks by 2030. It has launched Métha’Normandie to support those involved in the project and help achieve their goal. 

Wood fuel

Wood fuel is Normandy’s primary source of renewable energy. The region had 370 community and industrial facilities in action at the end of 2022. The region joined forces with ADEME and several partners to launch a wood energy programme for 2021-2023. The idea is to promote local resources, better organise the sector, build new furnaces etc. 

A regional energy committee

Despite the challenges, the region is committed to producing more renewable energy. The regional energy committee was founded in December 2023 and is co-managed by the Normandy prefect and Normandy Region president. It gets councillors, businesses and local citizens involved in the renewable energy campaign.

 

The committee explores how to roll renewable energy out faster in line with debates about marine energy. Normandy wants to set the benchmark in energy transition!

The architects of Normandy’s energy mix strategy

Central to this transformation is Normandie Energies, a consortium of industry experts championing energy diversification. It unites key stakeholders in the energy industry, all the way along the value chain from energy production to the end user. With 280 members, it marshals extensive knowledge and resources to navigate the region’s ecological transition, promoting energy efficiency and renewable sources across Normandy, and is a driving force behind local projects for transitioning towards renewable energy. Its 4 divisions — nuclear, oil & gas, renewables, and energy use — focus on 4 key areas: networking, business development, talent & recruitment, and innovation. 

Valentin PACAUT – The Explorers
Teddy Verneuil

Normandie Maritime is responsible for the region’s maritime and river industries spearheading the development of offshore renewable marine energy projects like wind and tidal power. 

The national collective Bioeconomy for change includes around a hundred collaborators in Normandy, involved in biomass energy processing and production. 

Meanwhile, the Normandy branch of France Hydrogène, steered by the Chief Representative of Normandie Énergies, comprises around 50 member organisations who support the local hydrogen industry through project facilitation and promotion of local initiatives.

Other instrumental entities like the Regional Chamber of Agriculture, Fibois Normandie, Biomasse Normandie, and the Eclore network (orchestrated by the 7 Vents cooperative) are crucial in advocating for the sector and advancing its renewable energy projects.

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Do you need assistance?

The economic development agency of the region, AD Normandie, offers personalised support for setting up your business in Normandy. A team of experts assists you with the administrative procedures for the development of your project as well as investments.

 

Discover the support for the Energy industry by AD Normandie

Top 5 energy projects

Two EPR2 reactors in Penly

The first of the two new reactors are due to be built in Penly in the Dieppe region. The Seine-Maritime town is piloting the new EPRs (European pressurised water reactors) that are part of the national programme, with on-site recruitment peaking at up to 7000 jobs.

A green hydrogen plant

Air Liquide plans to build a 200 MW electrolyser at the Port-Jérôme industrial estate by 2025. Air Liquide Normand’Hy will be the first large-scale green hydrogen plant in the world. It may also supply energy to Le Havre‘s industrial area. 

Biofuel made from wood chips

The Tertu group specialises in making roadside barriers out of wood and it plans to make biofuel (bioethanol and green hydrogen) from waste wood with its TH2 project. The processing plant will open in Blainville-sur-Orne by 2026. The Caen Canal will primarily supply it with waste (100,000 tons) recovered from the Seine Axis to make up to 60,000 litres of biofuel a day. 

A barge supplying electricity and hydrogen

ELEMENTA H2 was designed by several figures, including Normandy’s Sofresid Engineering, to supply boats at the dock with high voltage electricity. It will also be able to fuel future boats with hydrogen. ELEMENTA H2 will set sail in the Rouen river port in 2025.

Events showcasing the industry

EDF/ Antoine Soubigou

Normandy often hosts major national events such as the Journées nationales hydrogène dans les territoires in Rouen in 2022.


Regional events regularly showcase the standard of the Norman industry with the likes of the Rencontres de la Biéconomie en Normandie and Rencontres de l’excellence nucléaire en Normandie.
Last but not least, Normandie Energies (NE Workshop, Journée d’affaires du parc de Fécamp, Ateliers autoconsommation solaire, Focus Projet and Pitch Projet) and Fibois Normandie stage countless trade fairs and networking events. 

The energy industry is generating employment in the region (over 36,000) with its 1400 companies including industry giants (EDF, Orano). Nuclear may be one of the biggest employers but the rise of renewable energy, especially marine energy, has seen an increase in demand for skills. Hundreds of jobs have been created by rotor blade factories (LM Wind Power in Cherbourg), rotor blade and nacelle factories (Siemens Gamesa in Le Havre) and wind farm maintenance facilities. The marine energy industry could see Normandy account for a third of the employment generated in France. 

Sought-after skills

Normandie énergies has drawn up a list of the most sought-after trades in the energy industry:

boilermaker, welder, electrician, network operator, maintenance technician, health and safety officer, energy engineer, nuclear power plant supervisor, heating engineer, systems manager, radiation protection technician, energy consultant, energy efficiency engineer.

Courses in the energy industry

There are over 90 courses available in Normandy if you want to work in the energy industry.
The region is also home to a Campus des métiers et des qualifications d’excellence international des énergies (CEINE energy training centre). A H2 Académie campus providing hydrogen-related training is in the pipeline in Seine Agglo.

Studio 911

Academic establishments

News in the energy industry in Normandy

The biggest-ever wind turbine blade measures 107m, and it’s from Cherbourg!

A record-breaking 107m long rotor blade makes it the biggest offshore turbine blade ever built. LM WIND POWER in Cherbourg holds the record. The challenge began in 2017 and has stayed the course: one of the biggest French factories in the General Electric group hasn’t stopped hiring staff since it opened in January 2019. fabrication…

Nuclear, a future industry in Normandy

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