Ten hydroelectric power of 5,300 megawatts combined capacity, or 20% of the park concession will be renewed between 2010 and 2015, under the new procedure for awarding concessions, according to a press release dated April 22 MEEDDM.

So far, hydroelectric concessions were renewed by mutual agreements, without competition. But since 2008, a new tender procedure has been established. The opening calls for applications will run between 2010 and 2013. Concessions in the Alps, Pyrenees and Massif Central will be decided between 2013 and 2015.

Three criteria will prevail in the selection of offerings, says MEEDDM. An energy criterion is based on the commitment to modernize existing facilities, to meet the commitment of the Grenelle an increase of 10% of the share of hydropower by 2020. The environment test will be run on projects for ecosystem protection and integration of all non-energy uses of water (irrigation, recreation). The financial criterion is the translation of the proposed hydroelectric royalty should be established within the framework of the Grenelle Law II.

Hydropower is the second, after the nuclear, source of electricity production in France representing 12% of total production. EDF is the major operator (80% of the power granted), alongside with GDF Suez (17%) and minority producers.

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