President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated France’s first offshore wind park and promised to double the speed of permitting for renewables, but also to accelerate nuclear energy projects. “Only renewables or only nuclear power, that doesn’t work,” he pointed out.
France is set to present legislation next week intended to accelerate the administrative process for renewable energy projects including solutions for using locations such as parking lots and land next to highways. President Emmanuel Macron announced the plan as he inaugurated the country’s first offshore wind park and urged for the speed of permitting to be doubled.
The goal is for France to have 50 offshore wind parks by 2050 with a combined capacity of 40 GW. Faced with an electricity shortage, the government is also aiming to increase the total size of solar power plants by 10 times and double the capacity of onshore wind farms.
First offshore wind park in France took more than a decade to be built
The Saint-Nazaire offshore wind project took more than 10 years to be built, compared to six years for utility-scale solar projects. But Macron said the procedure for nuclear power plants needs to be accelerated, too.
France is planning to add six reactors to its nuclear power plant fleet
“Only renewables or only nuclear power, that doesn’t work,” he stressed. Macron unveiled a plan in February to install six more reactors. France normally depends on nuclear energy for two thirds of its power, but a series of breakdowns at such facilities recently made it a net electricity importer.
Saint-Nazaire facility to be commissioned by year-end
The 480 MW Parc éolien en mer du Banc de Guérande offshore Saint-Nazaire on the country’s west coast consists of 80 wind turbines. The power plant is scheduled to be fully connected to the grid and commissioned by the end of the year.
It is owned by a consortium comprising EDF Renewables and Enbridge’s subsidiary EIH, while CPP Investments also holds a stake. The partnership is also developing a 500 MW offshore wind project Fécamp, already under construction together with wpd from Germany. Iberdrola is building its 496 MW Saint-Brieuc wind park in the English Channel.