Wind power grew 8% in one year, insufficient growth to meet targets

In 2020, France increased its wind power production capacity by 8%. According to a report published on Tuesday, October 5, the pace of installation is still insufficient to meet the objectives set at the national level concerning this energy. Barbara Pompili, Minister of Ecological Transition, receives representatives of the sector today.

In detail, 7.9% of the country’s electricity production was provided by wind power last year, against 6.3% in 2019. This makes it the third source, behind nuclear (around 70%) and hydroelectricity. The 8% additional energy recorded in 2020 represents 1.3 gigawatt (GW) of new capacity, or 477 wind turbines installed in one year. According to France Wind Energy (FEE) the entire national park reached a production of around 18 GW in mid-2021.

However, the “cruising speed” hoped for in this area is rather an additional 2 GW per year. The FEE thus points to a growth which is “stalling”, hampered by “significant delays” in the project authorization procedures and by regulatory constraints limiting installation capacities.

However, France’s energy program (PPE) aspires to increase the share of wind power in electricity production to 20%. Offshore wind power is supposed to represent a quarter of this objective, when France is targeting between 33.2 and 34.7 GW of onshore wind power by 2028.

Quoted in the foreword of the FEE report, the Minister for Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, believes that “wind power is vital for our energy future”, particularly in the face of global warming and the expected increase in electricity demand. Thus, according to her, we must “increase our production of renewable electricity now by deploying exemplary projects”.

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The very first offshore wind farm is due to be put into service near Saint-Nazaire, in 2022. This, after 10 years of delays related to procedures and appeals mainly due to strong local opposition. Referring to a “virulent” debate, between “disinformation” and “sincere concerns of certain residents”, Barbara Pompili indicated, this Tuesday, October 5, that a “wind power mediator”, seized by the prefect in the event of an instruction problematic projects, will be created.

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