French amendment puts wind at risk

FRANCE: The French wind industry has raised concerns at least 90% of wind power projects in France will be affected if an amendment to the energy transition law currently going through parliament is upheld.

From the FEE - map shows areas of constraint under the rules
From the FEE - map shows areas of constraint under the rules

The clause increases the exclusion zone around houses and areas earmarked for housing development from the current 500 meters to 1000 meters.

Jean Germain, the Socialist senator who introduced the amendment said: "Go take a walk near a giant wind turbine; the noise is infernal," said . "For health reasons, Britain and Germany set a minimum distance of 1.5 kilometres; the United States ... 2 kilometres."

If passed, the measure would effectively block deployment in much of France and make it impossible for the country to achieve its target – also stated in the law – of sourcing 40% of electricity from renewables by 2030.

The positioning of turbines is subject to consultation under the permitting system, while noise levels are also strictly governed by ICPE regulations, which cover environmental issues, the industry argues.

The measure "has no scientific basis," stated Jean-Louis Bal, president of the renewable energy trade association SER.

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