France

France

France offers wind farms higher electricity price boost

France plans to allow new wind and solar projects to sell their electricity directly to the market for 18 months before locking into fixed-price contracts secured at auction, as part of a series of new measures set to boost renewables.

The French government has approved a series of measures to boost renewables amid Europe’s ongoing energy crisis (pic credit: Qenergy)
The French government has approved a series of measures to boost renewables amid Europe’s ongoing energy crisis (pic credit: Qenergy)

The move would enable project operators to benefit from higher electricity prices – which are currently well above those allocated in France’s contracts for difference (CfDs) auctions – industry body WindEurope explained.

France also plans to index deals awarded in its CfD auctions to changing raw material prices in a bid to shield the wind sector from inflated and extremely volatile prices.

The government is also to allow developers successful at auction to increase the capacity of their projects by up to 40% before completion.  

It is unclear which projects will be eligible for opting to sell their electricity to the market or how the raw material pricing indexation will be calculated.

Last week, it had also identified two sites in the South Atlantic that could support around 2GW of offshore wind – more than double the capacity it had originally targeted for the area.

France’s parliament and senate have already approved the measures, enabling them to come into force.

The moves come amid inflated energy prices across Europe, which benefit project operators selling electricity on the open market, but do not benefit those whose projects are tied to contracts awarded in government tenders. In France’s most recent onshore wind tender, projects were allocated at an average price of €59.52/MWh – well below the €200/MWh-plus prices seen in Europe’s wholesale electricity market in recent months.

It also comes amid inflated raw materials prices, which have prompted wind turbine manufacturers to increase the prices of their products in a bid to reduce losses.

Chief policy officer at industry body WindEurope, Pierre Tardieu, said: “The French government is taking unprecedented steps to boost wind power generation and deal with the current energy crisis.

“The government’s emergency measures mean more electricity generation in the coming months, and more energy security for French businesses and citizens.”

This story is being updated.

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