1.1 Definition and scope of the study
Electricity is a form of energy that can be generated in several ways and that provides power to appliances and devices. The market for electricity is organized around four main areas: the production, supply, transmission and distribution.
On July 1, 2007, the French electricity and natural gas markets were fully opened up to competition. This has allowed new players to enter the market and compete with historical leaders, the main one being EDF which held a near-monopoly (some local public companies have nevertheless been allowed to continue to operate as Local Distribution Companies (ELD).
- the production: the power plants that generate electricity
- the transmission: the routing of the electricity produced, high voltage
- the distribution: the second part of the transmission, the low voltage until the distribution of this electricity in the different points
- sale or supply: the purchase of electricity in bulk and then resale to the various points of consumption
In France, electricity transmission still operates as a monopoly and is ensured by RTE (Energy Regulatory Commission), a subsidiary of EDF. The distribution of electricity is also close to a monopoly because it is essentially ensured by Enedis, another subsidiary of EDF, but also by local distribution companies.
On the other hand, the production and supply of electricity are open to competition. Several companies carry out both activities, such as EDF, Direct Energie and Engie.
The turnover of the French electricity market is increasing even if electricity consumption is stagnating, as well as electricity generation which amounted to 546 billion killowatt-hours in 2019. This is mainly due to a rise in electricity prices. While the opening to competition was supposed to lead to lower prices, rising costs and limited access to raw materials have led to an increase in tariffs.
This price increase is reinforced by the development of green energy and more efficient and environmentally friendly offers. The energy transition has indeed become the central issue of the sector and represents a potential for future growth.
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