During long running debate on a draft energy law, the French National Assembly has reduced the threshold above which wind power plant would be eligible for fixed premium purchase prices to 20 MW from the 30 MW originally proposed (Windpower Monthly, April 2005). The measure, which will not affect existing plant, is to take effect two years after the law comes into force, if it is passed. "A little less bad," is how André Antolini of the Renewable Energy Syndicate (SER) sums up the revised amendment. "For years, the government has been telling the industry wind power plant must not be over 12 MW and now suddenly it is saying they must be over 20 MW," he says. "There is no logic." Given the difficulties of obtaining siting permission for plant under 12 MW in France, developers fear it will be difficult to get agreement for those over 20 MW -- and almost impossible in densely populated regions such as Brittany. The industry continues to lobby hard and is optimistic the draft law will be amended further during its second reading in the Senate in early May. It will then go to a joint committee to thrash out a final version acceptable to both houses. It is unlikely to be passed before mid-June.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol