France

France

France sees 'alarming' slow down in new wind

FRANCE: The rate of new wind power installations has slowed alarmingly in France according to the latest figures from distribution network manager ERDF.

The data, which confirms prior warnings from the industry, shows only 215MW was connected to the grid in the first six months of 2012. This compares with 340MW during the first half of 2011, which was also a slow year.

With around 6.8GW currently in service, France needs to install roughly 1.4GW a year to reach its onshore target of 19GW in 2020.

The Renewable Energy Syndicate (SER), a trade association, blames the slow-down on the increasingly onerous permitting process; the number of appeals, with 42% of projects now contested, as against 35% in 2009; lack of grid capacity; financing difficulties due to the general economic situation; and uncertainty over the onshore tariff.

"Faced with this alarming situation, it is the responsibility of the government to take urgent measures to ease the regulatory framework, reduce the constraints weighing on the network infrastructure and secure the economic context," said Jean-Louis Bal, president of SER.

The call comes in the run up to a conference on environmental issues, including energy policy, to be held on September 14 and 15.

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