Energy giant Total beats total retreat

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France-based multinational energy giant Total has decided not to pursue wind power as part of its renewables strategy. It will instead concentrate on second-generation biomass and photovoltaic and "leave [wind power] to others," according to CEO Christophe de Margerie, speaking at an oil conference. The group believes that electricity giants such as EDF and GDF-Suez are better placed to manage and optimise wind energy as part of a larger generation mix. It is too early to say what Total will do with its wind power assets in France, says the group's Philippe Gateau. Since 2003, it has been operating 12 MW, made up of five Nordex, Vestas and GE turbines, at a test site beside its refinery at Dunkirk. In 2005, Total and Harpen, the renewables arm of Germany's RWE, were awarded 90 MW in a government tender for onshore wind power. The project at Mounès in the Aveyron department of south-west France is still waiting for its siting permit.

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