Vattenfall plans to invest about €1bn in French hydropower projects as the country prepares to renew licences.

France has granted renewal of the concessions to operate hydroelectric dams up to an output of 5,300MW until 2015, which represents more than 20% of the nation’s total capacity.

The company said it aims to obtain concessions for 1,000MW.

Vattenfall CEO Oystein Loseth said the company’s ambition is to grow in renewable energy and the upcoming hydropower opportunities in France fall well within this scope.

The French authorities will select operators for plants in the Alps, the Massif Central region and the Pyrenees following the issue of tenders.

Renewal of the concessions is in line with European Union’s aim to get a fifth of its power from renewable sources by 2020.