From Research to Industry
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation.
Discover the main research areas on which the CEA works.
Find the latest scientific and institutional news of the CEA.
The CEA publishes various scientific and technical periodicals and videos. Through them, you can discover the CEA’s major research topics and the latest technological innovations produced by its laboratories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn about the main european bodies and infrastructures to which the CEA contributes in the field of the renewable energies.
The LITEN is playing a key role in the development of future technologies for energy transition.
Access to the site
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.