Macron vows to accelerate France's offshore ambitions

France has committed to tendering up to two offshore wind projects annually and to ease the permitting hurdles facing the industry, the president has said.

President Macron: 'It's unbelievable that we are not market leaders' (pic: Palais de L'Élysée)

Speaking at the major annual meeting of the French maritime sectors in Montpellier, Emmanuel Macron confirmed France’s pledge to add 1GW offshore wind every year between 2020-2024 as laid out in France’s new draft energy plan (PPE).

"France is fully committed to offshore wind. Several months ago, work on the first offshore wind project was launched at Saint-Nazaire. I can confirm this momentum will continue," Macron said on 3 December.

Work at the cable landfall site of Saint Nazaire — set to become the country's first large-scale offshore wind farm — kicked off in late November. Five other offshore projects have been approved in France.

Although Macron did not make any new announcements, his public backing for offshore wind was widely welcomed by the industry.

In his speech, the French president also referred to the difficulties faced by developers in the country due to France’s relatively complex permitting process and frequent judicial challenges, and called for reforms.

"With coastal waters of over 20,000km2, France has huge offshore potential, and it’s unbelievable that we are not industry leaders. It has become urgent to end the lengthy administrative procedures and speed things up," he added.

480MW Saint-Nazaire