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French Government Annoys Wind Industry

The French government has reveiled its plans for the expansion of renewable energies in the coming years. However, the wind industry is not amused.

Dark clouds over Paris (Image: Pixabay)Dark clouds over Paris (Image: Pixabay)

The French government has announced that it will increase the country's onshore wind capacity from 14.3 GW today to around 35 GW by 2030. In addition, a further 2.2 GW is to be added to the 3 GW offshore wind already put out to tender (but not yet built). In addition, the country is to phase out coal by 2022.

The first reactions from the wind industry followed promptly - and were disappointed overall. WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson was at least satisfied with the onshore plans: "France’s plans for onshore wind are quite promising, even if they could have been more ambitious. But they’ve got to urgently fix their short term problem with permitting: they’ve not awarded a single permit for onshore wind farm this year because of an administrative problem."

However, he severely critizied the expansion plans for offshore wind power: "On offshore wind the numbers are disappointing. France has massive potential, both in traditional fixed-bottom and floating offshore wind. They could comfortably develop up to 11 GW by 2030. 2.2 GW is really unambitious and will leave France at the bottom of the class on offshore wind, missing out on jobs and investment. Let’s hope their National Energy and Climate Plan for the EU has a better number."

Various regional governments from the affected regions also expressed their anger. The regions, including Brittany, Normandy, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitania, Pays de la Loire and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, want to meet with the Prime Minister, together with the French associations France Energie Eolienne (FEE) and Syndicat des énergies renouvelables, in order to put forward their own proposals. According to the French media, they demand a target of at least 10 gigawatts for conventional offshore wind turbines plus up to 5 gigawatts of additional floating turbines.

The current scenario, on the other hand, is a "catastrophe" for the wind industry, as can be read in their communiqué. France would de facto exclude itself from the international dynamics of offshore wind energy. However, industrial companies in the wind sector have already invested in the construction and planning of turbines, want to pursue their technological innovations and are striving to achieve strong competitiveness. This is why they cannot allow such a scenario.

Katrin Radtke
France, government, expansion, renewable energy, wind, onshore, offshore, turbine, floating, tender, GW, MW, wind farm

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