France urged to raise wind power tenders to 1GW per year

Two renewable energy lobbies have urged France to raise the minimum for wind power projects to 1GW per year to boost the development of the sector and ensure its meets targets for clean energy use.

The French Renewable Energy Association (SER) and France Energie Eolienne (FEE) said the government should launch two supplementary tenders of 750MW capacity each between 2021 and 2022, plus three other 250MW tenders and another 500MW tender.

In a statement, the lobbies stated that France’s long-term energy plan, known as the PPE, was inefficient. The PPE’s current target for wind power tenders of 550-665MW per year falls below the 1GW suggested by the lobbies.

President of SER Jean-Louis Bal said that the development of offshore wind must be prioritised, with zero offshore wind farms currently connected to the French electricity grid.

“The development of offshore wind must therefore be considered in the first period of the PPE to plan the increase in the production of renewable electricity necessary to raise the share of renewable electricity to 40% in 2030 and beyond 2035,” said Bal.

After several years of administrative delays and local opposition to projects, France is set to make a new push for offshore wind projects following reforms aimed at removing hurdles.

A tender for a 600MW project in Dunkirk has attracted a number of international energy companies. Energy market regulator CRE will publish its recommendations for the project in May.