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

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.

Only visibility and volume can deliver cost cuts

Only visibility and volume can deliver cost cuts

FRANCE: France claims to have learned from the first two offshore tender rounds and has changed the system for the next one.

Latest France news

France's first offshore turbine finally online

FRANCE: The country's first offshore wind turbine has exported electricity to the grid for the first time.

Neoen starts IPO process

FRANCE: Renewables developer Neoen has filed with the French market authority (AMF), marking its first step towards an initial public offering (IPO).

French onshore tender undersubscribed

FRANCE: Just under a quarter of the available capacity was awarded in the country's latest onshore tender.

French trade bodies welcome new minister

FRANCE: The country's wind energy association has urged the new environment and energy minister to provide visibility and stability for the industry in a time of "environmental emergency".

French energy minister quits in live radio interview

FRANCE: Environment and energy minister Nicolas Hulot said he is quitting the government because president Emmanuel Macron is not doing enough on his climate and environmental goals.

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