Disappointment over EDF tender


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French utility EDF's first tender for wind capacity has disappointed the wind business. Not only is it smaller than expected, but no effort has been made to encourage a geographical spread of wind power development. As a result there are fears within the wind community in France that the industry will make a dash for the windiest -- and often most scenic -- regions, scaring the public with an intrusive technology they have little knowledge of. The result could be a backlash of public opinion against wind power, as seen in Britain. Critics have also pointed out that insistence on projects of 1.5-8 MW precludes co-operative ownership of a single turbine, the development model which proved so successful in the early days of wind power in Denmark. The industry also sees EDF's leadership as an ominous development since the nuclear utility is not known for its broad welcome of competitors. Renewables agency ADEME was to have been in charge. The involvement of EDF's technical and research arm, DER-EDF, could be taken as a positive sign, though. At least it has moved renewables at EDF out of the public relations department.

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