Lack of ambition threatens French offshore sector

FRANCE: The industry is concerned by the unambitious government targets for offshore wind's part in sourcing 40% of electricity from renewables by 2030.

Seatower gravity-base foundation was installed at EDF-EN's 498MW Fecamp site, off the coast of France

France's target for fixed offshore wind is 500MW-3GW in new committed projects in 2023, in addition to the 3GW already awarded. 

The targets were proposed in a discussion paper issued mid-November setting out how France will meet its commitment to source 40% of electricity from renewables in 2030.

The next offshore tender will be launched in Q3 2017, following consultation to determine the development zones and preliminary technical studies.

Both the volume and timetable are woefully inadequate if France is to meet its targets and build a successful sector, the industry argued.

For floating turbines, the government plans 100MW installed capacity and 200MW-1GW of committed projects by 2023.

While there is still much to be learned about floating wind, "the industry needs a vision," says Frederic Lanoe, president of French Wind Energy Association, who proposed a target of up to 2GW.

The joint wind and solar target is 24GW in 2018 and 36-43GW in 2023, which meets the wind industry's forecast of what is needed — 24-27GW.