France

France

French Senate rejects wind farm permitting reform

FRANCE: A draft law going through the French parliament, containing measures to simplify the permitting system for wind, has been rejected by the Senate, the upper house.

French president Francois Hollande... promised to abolish the five-turbine minimum threshold
French president Francois Hollande... promised to abolish the five-turbine minimum threshold
The clauses covering wind power follow a government promise to reform the regulatory system.

The bill proposed scrapping the wind-power development zones (ZDE), within which turbines must be built to benefit from the guaranteed premium power purchase price. Instead, they would be covered by the regional wind power plans currently being finalised.

The bill also proposed removing the five-turbine minimum threshold for wind installations and giving a special exemption allowing export cables from offshore installations to pass through protected areas.

The government can now choose to send the bill to a parliamentary commission to thrash out a compromise. Alternatively, it can push ahead, given that the lower house, which has the final say on legislation, has already approved the bill.

Hollande's promise

President Hollande, before he was elected earlier this year, promised to simplify wind permitting.  During the election campaign, Marie-Hélène Aubert, Hollande's adviser on energy and the environment, said Hollande would simplify the regulations for wind power plants, including abolishing the five-turbine minimum threshold.

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