French wind tariff referred to European Court of Justice

FRANCE: France's highest administrative court the Conseil d'Etat has referred a legal challenge to the country's onshore tariff to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The European Court of Justice... decision on legality of French wind decree
The European Court of Justice... decision on legality of French wind decree

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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 previously notified the European Commission.

The challenge was put forward by Vent de Colère, an association opposed to industrial-scale wind power.

If the ECJ 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.

Speaking about the possibility of the challenge being upheld, president of the French wind energy association Nicolas Wolff warned up to 4,000 jobs could be at risk in France if the challenge is upheld.

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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