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

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.

Bird kill research disputed

Bird kill research disputed

FRANCE: Findings from a study about mortality rates at French wind farms have raised important points, but the industry is calling for further discussion and investigation.

Latest France news

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.

De Rugy departure could "put a brake" on renewables

After only ten months in the job, France's minister for ecological transition François de Rugy has resigned, following alleged misuse of public money.

France awards 516MW in third onshore auction

A total of 21 projects, with a combined capacity of 516MW, have been selected in France's third onshore wind auction round, at an average price of €63/MW.

EDPR divests 491MW to fund new capacity

Developer EDPR has signed an agreement to sell its remaining shareholdings in a 997MW portfolio of European wind farms to unnamed institutional advisors for a total consideration of about €800 million.

Carrying blades in the Caribbean

VIDEO: A newly completed project in Martinique required the transport of the seven turbines, and their 49-metre blades, up to the mountain site, which is easier said than done.

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