France

france

France is a major European player in the field of eco-innovation, and possesses a strong track record in environmental regulation and support schemes – targeting both public and private actors (including individuals). This is illustrated by its strong ranking in the 2015 Eco-Innovation Scoreboard (seventh among the 28 EU Member States). However, France still falls behind a number of front-runners, particularly due to limited energy and water productivity and limited green early-stage investments. Increasing levels of resource efficiency, particularly energy efficiency, in key sectors such as transport and building are also key priorities.

The most important eco-innovation areas in France are linked to network and network management industries, and more specifically water management and sanitation, waste management, and environmental engineering. These sectors are well organised around very large international firms that are also major aggregators of innovations.

Since 2010, a group of clusters, focusing on environmental technologies, have supported the creation of innovative local networks of SMEs and large companies based around water and waste management, energy efficiency, renewable energies, smart cities and smart transport. These clusters act as a major testbed for the emergence of eco-innovations, and help to bring together public and private partners around common issues.

In addition, the national and regional support to eco-innovation and the circular economy is strong. At the national level, a number of dedicated calls for projects have been set up in recent years, complementing existing support measures such as eco-innovation equity funds or tax incentives focusing on the demand side of eco-innovation. At the regional level, 20 out of the 22 (former) metropolitan regions have at least one strategic domain of their Regional Smart Specialisation Strategy directly related to eco-industries. 

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for France

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The Lacq integrated CCS project

Labels: France

TotalThe French firm Total currently operates one of the 20 pilot CCS sites in the world. The project’s main ambitions are to demonstrate the technical feasibility and reliability of an integrated CO2 capture, transportation, injection and storage onshore scheme for steam production at a reduced scale (1/10th of future facilities); design and operate a 30MWth oxycombustion boiler for CO2 capture; and develop and apply geological storage qualification methodologies, monitoring and verification techniques on a real operational case to prepare future larger scale and long term storage projects.
 
Determinants
Proving the safety and efficiency of CCS through the operation of such demonstration sites will play a key role in the diffusion of such technologies in the future. One of the main barriers to project development, as well as to the development of CCS technologies overall, are the low levels of public acceptance of such procedures. This particular project involved a series of public consultations and dialogues in order to raise awareness on potential benefits and threats brought about by the project.
 
Sustainability
CCS technologies are expected to play an important role in the reduction of GHG gases emitted into the atmosphere. In addition to efforts set in place to reduce the level of GHG emissions produced, an increasing number of foresight scenarios recognise the need of adopting such technologies in order to meet international GHG reduction objectives.

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Eco Innovation in Practice in France

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