Member - CNR

Leading French producer of 100% renewable energy, which supports the territories towards energy transition

Type Company
Founder 1933
Company Size 1400
Member Type
Headquarters 69004 Lyon, France
Social network


CNR is the Rhône's concessionaire and the leading French producer of exclusively renewable energy, which supports the regions towards energy transition.
Headquarters 69004 Lyon, France

SDG’s of application

The Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity everywhere.
Clean Water and
SDG 6 icon
Affordable and
Clean Energy
SDG 7 icon
Industry, Innovation
and Infrastructure
SDG 9 icon
SDG 11
Sustainable Cities
and Communities
SDG 11 icon
SDG 12
Responsible Consumption
and production
SDG 12 icon

Offers from CNR

Other products

CNR has built and operates 19 multipurpose river management schemes on the Rhone river, France. Their design and operation can serve as a model for existing or new river management schemes all around the world to adress different stakes such as run-of-the-river electricity generation, navigation and irrigation development, territory development.

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Available inWorldwideCategories of applicationAffordable and clean energy, Industry, innovation and infrastructureSector of applicationClean energy production, Freight transportation Status Implemented

A river development solution for multiple purposes, for the production of hydroelectricity, navigation, irrigation, flood protection, tourism, while respecting sustainable development criteria and facilitating the integration of other renewable energy in the context of the energy transition.

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Available inWorldwide Status Implemented

A river turbine is a hydraulic turbine using the kinetic energy of the water (the current) to produce electricity, in the same way that a wind turbine uses the kinetic energy of the wind. A river turbine comprises two transversal-flow vertical-axis turbines fitted with hydrodynamic fairings to improve the efficiency of the turbines. The unit is fitted on a floating barge which means that the river turbine can remain on the surface of the water and reap the benefit of maximum current speeds. There is a lifting system to keep the river turbine safe if necessary and a debris grating is fitted on the structure holding the turbine to deflect any objects floating in the water. The HydroQuest River technology has the benefit of Research & Development programmes conducted for several years in the university laboratories of the Rhône-Alpes region. Prototypes have already been tested in real-life conditions in Guyana in the Amazon region and in Orléans on the Loire. These experiments provided an opportunity not only to test the performance and efficiency of the machines, but also to study the environmental impact in the river environment. In contrast to dams, this system does not require major civil engineering work and does not present any obstacle to the flow. River turbines are suitable for all rivers with strong currents (speed > 1.2 m/s). Every river turbine will be mounted on a floating barge, approx. 7 m wide and approx. 13 m long. It will be fitted with a lifting system to move it to safety in the event of a weak flow or, in contrast, in the event of flood. During operation, the river turbine is located at an immersed depth of around 2 m. A group of 3 river turbines, arranged in a triangle with the point facing the current, will occupy a width of around 35 m in the Rhône. A comparison of river turbine energy (continuous production) with solar energy (intermittent production) shows a charge factor 2 to 4 times higher for river turbine energy. On some high-yield sites, the profitability of river turbine energy will thus be immediate. Over time, these two energy sources may be complementary on hybrid stations in very seasonal zones, alternating months of heavy rain and months of drought. River turbines are more advantageous than Diesel units for electricity production as the operating and maintenance costs of Diesel units are very high and explain the LCOE of this technology. Moreover, due to its high greenhouse gas emissions, this technology is one of the causes of climate change, which is today a challenge for everyone; the commitments of nations to the agreement signed at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference testify to this. Finally, if river turbine energy is compared to hydroelectricity, and in particular dams, the advantages of river turbines are as follows: • Rapid rollout, 10 to 16 months approx. to produce and commission a 2 MW river turbine plant. • Given the very small amount of civil engineering, no modification of ecosystems or population displacement, and society is more readily accepting of such projects. • Simplicity of operation and thus training of local maintenance agents is faster and easier. Large dams require, with the rollout of associated transport and distribution infrastructures, a rollout time in the order of 8 to 15 years, but they are designed to inject high power levels into the electricity grid. These two modes of electricity production – classic hydroelectricity by dam and river turbines – are thus complementary.

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Available inWorldwideCategories of applicationAffordable and clean energySector of applicationClean energy production Status Implemented

A 65 meters barge is converted into a waste disposal and can berth at a pier located in the city. Like in a conventional waste collection point, this river waste disposal is equipped with several containers in order to collect woods, metals, furniture, e-wastes, special wastes and textiles. It represents 5 skips of 20 m3 and 3 special containers. In the morning, a push-boat moves the barge to the pier. Temporary reception arrangements for the public are deployed. The public can access to the pier by car and several operators help them to transfer their waste to the skips located in the barge. At the end of the day, the device is retracted. The push-boat moves the barge to a dedicated place near the city center, in order to unload the barge. Then, the collected wastes are integrated into the usual waste treatment and reclamation schemes. This innovative service allows to unclog the waste disposal already existing in the city center, and avoids opening a new waste collection site in a particularly dense and restrictive urban area. It paves the way to more virtuous waste management systems in the heart of cities, by avoiding urban road transport with trucks. The river route is an answer to the objective of 25% of modal shift determined by the Energy Transition Law in France. It provides solutions for new urban logistics in the future. By capitalizing on logistics advantages of dense territories run through by watercourses, the river waste disposal is a proximity service which helps agglomerations to value more waste, while using an energy-efficient operating mode contributing to the sustainable development of cities.

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Available inWorldwide Status Tested implementation

The project aims to adapt the so-called "eDNA" techniques (filtration concentration of DNA fragments from aquatic species contained in water and identification of associated animal or plant species) to sample the aquatic fauna of major river systems and their associated species. ancillary media (secondary arms, lones, tributaries, deltas ...). The repetition of sampling at regular time steps provides an image of the evolution of river ecosystems through genetic diversity. This innovative technique in large rivers allows a non-intrusive and destructive large-scale census of biodiversity. The results will make it possible to correlate the effects (both positive and negative) of large river development projects (hydropower or navigation type) on the animal populations of complex river systems at sufficiently long time scales (several years or even decades). . It will also make it possible to assess the changes in animal populations induced by climate change, which are often difficult to apprehend on a large scale (river of several hundred km for example) using traditional faunistic inventory techniques. This approach also responds to the European authorities' request to develop non-intrusive and non-destructive survey techniques aimed at limiting animal suffering and preserving wildlife. A first sampling campaign of the Rhône River on the entirety of its French course (550 km) was conducted in 2016/2017. It has made it possible to explore all the different environments present, be they natural (old Rhône, river annexes, secondary branch, confluences) or of anthropic origin (canals of navigation and of hydro-electricity production), retained, etc. This first large-scale adaptation of eDNA techniques on a large European river made it possible to test different modes of sampling and different frequencies of sampling along the river. It has also highlighted strong relationships between the content of suspended matter and the density of DNA fragments. The use of this technique in large current environments is confirmed and will allow its application to be extended to a large number of watercourses either for the scientific follow-up of species or for monitoring the effects of major river developments (hydroelectricity, navigation) or major changes in watershed management. A first communication (SPYGEN, AFB, CNR) was made in November 2017 as part of the annual MRM symposium on highly migratory species and highlighted its use in the monitoring of migratory fish.

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Available inWorldwide Status Tested implementation

Maintenance of the earth dams aims to maintain the vegetation at the lowest level possible. CNR try to reduce the mobilization of mechanical techniques for the maintenance of vegetation. A selection of areas adapted for pastoralism is realized at first; then CNR contract with a company to bring and keep a herd in a given space. A monitoring of the vegetation growth is realized during the season in order to ensure the effectiveness of animal shearing. If necessary, additional clearing can be done late in the season. Experience is systematically collected in order to improve the knowledge of animal behavior and their impact on the vegetation. This method allows to perfect the management of maintenance of vegetation on the dams and work towards a gradual increase in the use of pastoralism.

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Available inFrance, Categories of applicationResponsible consumption and productionSector of applicationCircular economy of solid wastes Status Implemented

This application allows to follow all types of boats (trade, cruise, pleasure and servitude) in real time that moves on the Rhone. The ports and wharves where the boats can stop in which they are automatically discharged if it stops there are also provided. This allows what boats are where. The application also allows the seizure of all the locks on the 14 locks of the Rhone. Each trip of each boat is filled with the nature of the cargo, the quantity, origin and destination, the number of crew members and passengers. This allows to have reporting and statistics on the traffic on the Rhone. For each boat, the application gives the operator the estimated duration of passage to the next lock which is permanently recalculated according to its speed for the boats equipped with GPS (AIS) and which is estimated for the boats not equipped.

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Available inFrance, Status Implemented