French government emphasises commitment to renewables

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The French industry ministry has re-emphasised its commitment to expanding the amount of renewable energy generated and raised its forecast for wind power over the next decade. In its statutory biennial report on energy investment policy to parliament it suggests that an installed capacity for wind of 7000-14,000 MW is possible by 2010, contributing 20-35 TWh/year. Currently wind produces just 0.05 TWh/year. Such an increase in wind, says the report, is the only way of meeting France's commitment to reaching the EU's target of 21% of energy from renewable sources from France's current 15%. The official French target for wind power has been steadily creeping up over the last few years. The EOLE 2005 program, launched in 1996, proposed a modest 500 MW of wind power capacity by 2005. In May 2000, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin delighted the renewables community by increasing the target to 3000 MW of wind power by 2010. The latest figures indicate the government will remain committed towards wind power even if consumers are faced with higher prices because of pro-renewables policies. The report, however, warns there should be a study to ascertain whether wind is reliable enough to supply the amount of power expected from it.

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