Legal challenge to French onshore wind tariff

FRANCE: The French tariff for onshore wind energy is under threat following a call from France's highest administrative court for it to be annulled.

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On 12 March, the rapporteur of the Conseil d'Etat called for the decree establishing the premium purchase price for onshore wind power to be annulled on the grounds that the government had not notified the European Commission.

The call came following an appeal to the council by Vent de Colère, an association opposed to industrial-scale wind power.

The council will issue a ruling, probably in the next week or so, though it could be delayed until after the presidential elections at the end of the month.

If it upholds the appeal, the government will have to issue a new decree, which could take several months. In the interim, it will not be possible to sign a power purchase agreement and banks will be even more reluctant to finance new projects because of the uncertainty.

The previous decree, issued in 2006, was annulled in 2008 by the council at the demand of Vent de Colère, again for technical reasons.

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