Energy efficiency and construction


Energy efficiency is an activity arising from the merging of energy technologies with the building sector and digital technologies.

The emergence of sustainable energies in French energy production, which has long relied heavily on nuclear-generated power, has created imbalances between energy supply and demand.
Buildings, the highest energy consumption sector, have undergone a more environmental-friendly development favoring innovations in construction systems, including bio-sourced high performance insulation materials.
In addition, digital technology has given new solutions for intelligent energy management, called SmartGrid.

Vaucluse in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has considerable advantages in every aspect of energy efficiency :

- Energies :

  • A solar energy potential of 2800h/year
  • A large biomass, quantifiable and mobilizable (forestry and agricultural biomass)
  • A first-rate hydraulic network
  • A nuclear sector which motivates major technology transfers and international scientific projects (ITER project)


- Construction :

  • International leaders and innovative SMEs
  • Internationally-famous private research centers
  • Outstandingly rich natural resources


- Digital/IT :

  • Innovations serving energy and intelligent building
  • Projects for intelligent electricity networks
  • A FRENCHTEC label which supports initiatives and in vivo experiments



  • In Vaucluse, the construction industry represents 5 800 companies,  12300 employees, 1.5 billion € of works/year, and more than 1700 students and apprentices trained per year
  • The market for energy-related renovation in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is estimated at nearly 46 billion €! 
  • On average, there have been 26 000 housing worksites and 1.5 million m² of professional premises per year for the last 10 years.
  • The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is ranked the 1st solar region in France, 2nd largest forest area in France, 3rd for wind farms, and 3rd region for hydroelectricity generation
  • Vaucluse is midway between Tricastin, Marcoule and Cadarache nuclear sites. They represent over 18 000 jobs. 
  • ITER is the world’s biggest international research project: 17 billion € and 7 founding members (USA, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India and the European Union)
  • The Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur region’s digital industry has 30 000 companies, 60 000 jobs, 1 200 researchers and 25 world leaders in their fields.



Energy efficiency, a transversal meta-activity creating much collaborative work.

Competitiveness centers / clusters : 

• Capénergies competitiveness center: non-greenhouse gas generating energies

• Bâtiments Durables Méditerranéens – Mediterranean Sustainable Buildings: intelligent buildings in harmony with their climate and environment

• Solutions Communicantes sécurisées – Secured Communicating Solutions: connect, secure, and optimize networks and objects

• CARMA cluster: advanced materials


R&D centers :

• CREE - SAINT-GOBAIN Group European Study and Research Center: 250 employees from all over the world, working on high-performance materials

• SINIAT TDC: Technological and Technical Development Center for the SINIAT Group, designing, developing and validating tomorrow’s plaster-based products

• CEA Cadarache & CEA Marcoule: international R&D centers dedicated to nuclear and alternative energies, with over 8000 employees


Specialized organizations :

• Fédération du Bâtiment de Vaucluse et CAPEB: Building Federation grouping enterprises and trades people in the construction industry

• ENERPLAN: solar energy professional association 

• PACA Region Forestry Center

• Vaucluse Chamber of trades and crafts and Chamber of Agriculture





Development of the Vaucluse construction sector is based on our natural resources.

Building wood resources :

  • 37% of Vaucluse is forested
  • 95% of the communes belong to the Vaucluse Forestry Defense and Value Creation Union

Other resources put to use or available in the construction industry :

  • Hemp: local production of natural hemp  fiber for insulation
  • Lavender straw: value creation as insulation
  • Luberon ochre: value creation in traditional heritage and know-how, for ochre production and use of the pigments in the building industry
  • Silica: 9% of national production is in Vaucluse, and we are the 4th-ranked French silica producer. The two biggest world producers have considerable investments in Vaucluse: SIFRACO and SAINT-GOBAIN
  • Gypsum: Vaucluse has the biggest gypsum deposit in Europe, among the largest in the world. We account for 10% of the national gypsum production.

Agricultural biomass

In the South-East of France where major biomass power plants are already consuming a large part of the forestry resources, the agricultural biomass activity appears to be the main resource where value can be created. 

This resource draws on vineyard prunings (Avignon is the capital of the Côtes du Rhône appellation, and Vaucluse includes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, southern Rhône Valley, Luberon …), orchards, plant nurseries, by-products from agriculture and the food industry, etc …

Solar energy

With more than 300 sunny days per year, Vaucluse is one of the sunniest areas in France.

Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur is France’s number one region in terms of solar energy production.

We have microelectronic technologies related to those needed for solar panel manufacturing (silica, cells …). Provence is home to 30% of France’s microelectronic production capacity, with large industrial groups and small specialized companies.

Nuclear industry 

Vaucluse is surrounded by 3 nuclear sites boasting world-renowned expertise: CEA Cadarache, CEA Marcoule, and the Tricastin Power Plant at Pierrelatte.

  • Over 21 billion € in investments are planned for the South-East of France over the coming decades.
  • 45% of the CEA’s employees work in the area. 
  • More than 65% of AREVA’s activities are in the South-East of France

In Provence, the nuclear industry features :

  • facility dismantling: expertise and contracts,
  • future generation reactors, 
  • nuclear fuel cycle,
  • many technology transfers to the food industry, cosmetics, the pharmaceutical industry, waste treatment, green chemistry, eco-technologies …


>>Download the nuclear energy flyer