France to double down on wind

In: Windfarms
The French Prime Minister Edouaed Philippe has revealed plans for France to double down on its targets for offshore wind installation. The announcement was part of the Prime Minister's speech on Wednesday (12th June 2019) to the National Assembly.

The Prime Minster stated that tenders for 1GW a year are expected to take place until 2028, following cost reductions seen in the
Dunkirk offshore wind farm tender. The Dunkirk site covers a 70km2 area, located some 10km offshore Dunkirk. The site will have a maximum capacity of 750 MW, with a number of offshore wind developers vying for control of it. The winning bidder will be announced by the end of June 2019 with offshore construction of the project anticipated to start in 2024.

The Prime Minister also stated that it plans to shutdown the Fessenheim power station before the end of 2020 and reduce the share of nuclear power to 50% by 2035. Furthermore, by the end of the year it aims to finalise ecological transition contracts in Gardanne, Saint Avold, Cordemais and Le Havre, where coal-fired power plants will be closed by 2022. To make up for the shortfall of power generation the Prime Minister it is looking to the development of renewable energy, particularly wind power.

The announcement follows news in May that the French government kicked off the tender process for country’s largest offshore wind farm tender to date. The National Commission of Public Debate (CNDP) has selected a dedicated commission to launch a public consultation for a potential 1GW offshore wind farm off the coast of Normandy. The consultation is expected to be launched in Autumn 2019, with the selection of tender winners to follow in 2020. Due to the increased size and potential for economies of scale, the government is expecting bid prices in the region of €65/MWh.

On 25th January 2019, the French Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition published the entire Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie (Multiannual Energy Program, PPE), which sets priorities for energy policy and forms the roadmap allowing France to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The PPE is established for 2019-2023 and 2024-2028. The French Government has set a target of 40% of electricity consumption to come from renewable sources by 2023 through the diversification of the energy mix. The PPE targets 2.4 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by the end of 2023 and 5.2 GW by 2028. The PPE has also set a tender timeline for future offshore wind tenders totalling 6GW between now and 2028.

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