Choose France Business Summit: France’s attractiveness yet again at the top of the EU podium

Europe represents just 1% of global solar panel production which is expected to improve the sovereignty of France’s supply in the agrivoltaics market. Photo Source ©

€13 billion in foreign investments for France

The “Choose France” summit, designed to promote France’s attractiveness internationally, took place in Versailles (France) on May 15 and was attended by 200 foreign business leaders and the President of France. Emmanuel Macron announced €13 billion of foreign investments in France, a record amount for 28 projects, 40% of which are provided for in La French Fab.

This is good news in terms of energy transition – over half of the investments announced relate to the electric vehicle or renewable energy sectors.  France is pursuing its green reindustrialization aims and advertising its attractiveness through a significantly decarbonized energy mix.

Increased investment in “Battery Valley”

Taiwanese solid-state battery manufacturer ProLogium has announced €5.2 billion for the construction of its first factory outside of Taiwan. ProLogium opted for the north of France, not only to take advantage of the R&D ecosystem of “Battery Valley”, but as it was also mindful of energy criteria. Vincent Yang’s factory is counting on a nuclear power plant, a photovoltaic power plant and a future offshore wind farm to provide decarbonized electricity at a competitive cost, which is essential to ensure compliance with the CO2/kWh energy balance now required of electric battery manufacturers.

Also in Dunkirk, French company Orano and Chinese company XTC will invest €1.5 billion to produce cathode materials for lithium batteries.

Photovoltaic panels will soon be made in France

Holosolis, founded by European accelerator EIT InnoEnergy (an energy transition specialist), has announced €710 million to set up the largest solar panel manufacturing facility in Europe. A site in eastern France was chosen, where the timeframe for obtaining a permit was shorter.

Europe represents just 1% of global solar panel production, and the plant is expected to improve the sovereignty of France’s supply in the agrivoltaics market. The site will be operational starting in 2025 and will achieve a peak capacity of 5GW of photovoltaic modules from 2027 onwards.

€3 billion for a 4th generation SMR

The startup Newcleo will invest €3 billion by 2030 to develop a demonstrator of a lead-cooled fast-neutron SMR (Small Modular Reactor) in France. This technology will ensure the availability of more compact and safer reactors than current EPRs. The cherry on the cake is that Newcleo’s SMR will use the nuclear waste generated by large EPR reactors, thus eliminating the problem of storing radioactive waste!

Foreign investors often complain that it takes too long to start a business in France, but measures are being put forward in the Green Industry Bill to reduce this time.

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