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Renewable energies

Published on 28 June 2016

​The CEA has been heavily involved in renewable energies for around thirty years and is now focusing on solar energy (thermal and photovoltaic) and its integration in the home, batteries for electric vehicles, hydrogen, and also 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels. The CEA provides support to national industries, in partnership with other research organisations.

​CEA research on
renewable energies

Solar energy

Solar energy

The CEA carries out research on thermal and photovoltaic solar energy, in support of industrial companies in the sector. In the field of solar thermal energy, the CEA has its National Institute of Solar Energy (INES), an R&D platform for the optimisation of solar thermal systems. The CEA also carries out research on the production of electricity using a thermodynamic process known as concentration. In the field of photovoltaics, the CEA’s research is focusing on improving the output and reducing the costs of photovoltaic modules, and also anticipating the problems of integration in the grid which will arise following a massive insertion of renewables in the energy mix. This work, carried out at the INES, makes use of its technological platform to manufacture cells and modules and its software platform to simulate the behaviour of a future grid with renewable energy sources, as well as storage and consumption equipment.

Hydrogen and fuel cells

and fuel cells

There have been numerous research programmes at the CEA on hydrogen technologies since the end of the 1980s. These programmes are part of the organisation’s work on the development of new energies and make use of researchers’ expertise in materials, high-temperature and high-pressure processes, and the integration of technologies. The CEA’s constant aim is to increase the economic interest of this energy option, and to be at the leading edge of hydrogen technology, supporting industrial companies.

Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles

CEA researchers are working on electric battery technologies, in particular for transport. Through their expertise in chemistry, materials and electronics, and also information technology, they can offer industrial companies solutions to reduce the cost of batteries, improve their performance, and make them as safe and as reliable as possible.


2nd and 3rd generation

The CEA is conducting active research in the field of 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels, in association with academic organisations and industrial companies in the field. For 2nd generation biofuels, the CEA is focusing on the thermochemical method. For 3rd generation biofuels, the CEA’s researchers are investigating the ability of micro-algae to produce hydrogen and studying certain mechanisms in living organisms such as photosynthesis.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency and conservation in buildings

As a research organisation heavily involved in the development of renewable energies, the CEA is applying its expertise to R&D programmes focusing on the building and energy efficiency sectors. In this context, CEA researchers at the National Institute of Solar Energy (INES) are testing various innovative technologies for industrial companies, from concepts through to “real” situations on the demonstration platforms at INES (Incas) and at Cadarache.

Thematic website

Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials (LITEN)

The LITEN is playing a key role in the development of future technologies for energy transition.

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