4000 wind jobs 'at risk' over anti-wind challenge

FRANCE: Up to 4000 jobs could be at risk in France and new wind power installations severely curtailed if the Conseil d'Etat upholds a legal challenge to the tariff for onshore wind, warned Nicolas Wolff, president of the French wind energy association.

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On 12 March, the rapporteur of the Conseil d'Etat, France's highest administrative court, 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 by Vent de Colère, an association opposed to industrial-scale wind power.

The council was expected to make a decision by the end April, but has now announced a delay while it studies the issue in more detail.

Lack of decision

Already, the lack of a decision is threatening 1000 jobs in the sector, according to Wolff. "Financial institutions are refusing to sign any project finance, so the whole system is blocked," he explained.

At the very most 600MW would be added in 2012, Wolff estimates, and there would also be a knock-on effect on 2013. "It would be an absolute disaster," Wolff stated.

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