French rules on lights could undermine wind energy support

FRANCE: New rules governing the installation of lights on wind turbines could undermine public advocacy for wind farms, according to trade body the Renewable Energy Syndicate (SER).

Warning lights generally sit at the back of the nacelle
Warning lights generally sit at the back of the nacelle

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The SER warns that regulations regarding warning lights on wind turbines in France are now among the strictest in Europe and, apart from increasing costs to turbine operators, will make it harder for them to gain local acceptance for their projects.

Following concerns voiced by the air force, from 1 March all turbines in a group must be equipped with lights, whereas previously only a certain number of machines had to be fitted.

The new rules also stipulate that red lights must be used at night, instead of white, to reduce the disturbance to local residents.

In daylight hours, however, white lights are still required. In addition, towers of turbines over 150m tall must be fitted with red lights at 45m intervals, and all lights must be visible through 360 degrees. Owners of existing plant have until 1 March 2015 to conform to the new regulations.



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