French court rules against coastal wind farms

FRANCE: It could soon be illegal to install wind turbines on land near the French coast if a ruling by the country's administrative court is upheld.

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Late January, the administrative court in Nantes cancelled the siting permit for eight turbines operating at Plouvien, in the Finistère department, north-west France, following an appeal by a local opposition group.

Referring to the urban planning rules for coastal areas, the court ruled that turbines can only be installed on land "contiguous to existing towns and villages."

This puts it in conflict with another part of the planning code, which specifies that turbines must be sited at least 500 meters from designated urban areas.

Industry observers believe the government is unlikely to amend the regulations any time soon. In the meantime, the owner of the facility, Néo Plouvien, a subsidiary of Portugal's EDP Renováveis, says it will appeal the ruling.

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