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19 January 2018

France plans to double wind power capacity within five years

The French government has unveiled new proposals to accelerate the development of wind power in the country.

The ten-point plan, released on Thursday, aims to half the amount of time it takes to construct projects and speed up deployment.

The government’s ambitions are to increase the amount of wind power capacity in the country to between 21,800-26,000 megawatts (MW) by 2023. The latest figures show that 13,760MW has currently been installed, the equivalent of powering 11 million households.

The document includes proposals to speed up the amount of time projects are held-up in court procedures, reform tax revenues and reduce light from turbines.

One of the main reasons for the delays has been repeated litigation from wind farm opponents. 75% of these cases are rejected, according to the industry, but the result is to significantly delay construction times.

“Currently it takes seven to nine years to develop offshore wind projects,” said junior ecology minister Sebastien Lecornu.

“The direct consequence of this is a lengthening of the time it takes to complete a project -- seven to nine years on average -- compared to three to four years in Germany”.

Despite the delays, wind power still continues to increase across the country. The French wind energy association, France Energie Eolienne (FEE), released figures this week which showed that the country had installed a record 1,692MW of new capacity in 2017.

Olivier Perot, President of FEE, commented that the plan will help increase awareness of issues and promote better decision-making: “This is essential to ensure a sustained level of development in a concerted, harmonious, and pragmatic way", he said in a statement.

Mr. Perot added that he was “very confident” that the country would reach a target of reaching 15,000MW by the end of the year.

 

Figures for 2017 show strong growth in wind power across France.

Source: France Energie Eolienne 

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