France

Windpower Monthly rating 3.5/5

Our rating is based on a combination of project pipeline, political and policy support, investor confidence and structural readiness of the country in terms of grid infrastructure, permitting process and local supply chain.

Forecast of installed and operating wind power capacity based on the latest statisitics and measured against the Windpower Intelligence database.

The government is broadly supportive of renewable energy and has a target of reducing its nuclear capacity from the current 63GW to 50GW by 2030. A competitive tendering system for new onshore developments has now been established. The first 500MW of 3GW of new capacity was allocated in December 2017 with an average price of €65.40/MWh, 23% down on the €85/MWh awarded under the previous support mechanism.

Slow progress in the offshore sector, where construction work on six projects with 3GW of capacity has yet to begin, prompted the government to seek to renegotiate the tariffs, which were set at around €200/MWh. The draft amendment was rejected.

The Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables, the Association of renewable energies, is generally satisfied with the recent development in France and especially with the objectives or the Energy Transition Act. The market is active with many transactions ongoing, including green field and brown field and refinancing of existing projects.

Main concern remains the easiness with which judicial challenges can block a project and the relative complexity of the permitting process. There is no major problem regarding grid infrastructure, either capacity or third party access, which is effective and looked after by the regulator. The wind industry is strong and the industrial context is positive.

Many innovative projects are considered, such as marine renewable energy. Lenders are knowledgeable; investment funds are investing in green field projects or buying existing projects from developers.

Tender Watch

France In-Depth

France looks to wind for island energy autonomy

France looks to wind for island energy autonomy

After a period of zero growth, wind deployment is beginning to take off again in France's overseas territories, but will need to speed up further to achieve the government's 2030 target.

Floating design brings the x-factor to 10MW-plus market

Floating design brings the x-factor to 10MW-plus market

FRANCE: French engineering firm Ceteal claims its x-shaped concrete floating foundation offers significant manufacturing and operational advantages over other designs currently under development for the floating offshore wind sector.

Floating wind eager for commercial projects

Floating wind eager for commercial projects

FRANCE: Encouraged by the success of Hywind Scotland, the floating offshore wind sector is aiming to make policymakers take note and move on to build utility-scale projects. But supply-chain challenges need addressing for serial production to become viable

France's first offshore turbine

France's first offshore turbine

FRANCE: The country's first offshore wind turbine -- a 2MW Vestas unit mounted on Ideol's Floatgen floating platform -- is now in place and undergoing final tests off the coast of Brittany.

Nuclear switch

Nuclear switch

FRANCE: French utility EDF's next generation of nuclear reactors will work in cooperation with renewables, rather than as rivals, to drive down fossil-fuel generation.

Latest France news

Prices inch up in oversubscribed French tender

France awarded power deals to 20 projects with a combined capacity of 576MW, as average prices inched up to €66.50/MWh in the country's fourth onshore wind tender.

MHI Vestas replaces GE at French floating pilot

MHI Vestas will supply three units of its V164-9.5MW model for the Île de Groix pilot floating wind farm off the coast of France, replacing GE as turbine supplier.

Community investor schemes gaining ground in offshore

In early July, Belgian developer and owner-operator Parkwind launched an initiative to raise up to €20 million from private individuals to support its offshore projects.

Oil giant Total buys French renewables developer

Oil major Total's renewable energy subsidiary has acquired French wind developer Vents d'Oc.

Engie accelerating renewables deployment

The renewables business of French utility Engie installed 1.4GW of wind and solar capacity in the first half of 2019, more than the 1.1GW it added in the whole of 2018.

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