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France’s ambitious offshore strategy faces obstacles

(EurActiv, 18 Nov 2020) As the European Commission prepares to publish its offshore renewable energy strategy, France’s wind farm projects – already delayed compared to its European neighbours – face opposition from fishermen already operating in difficult maritime environments because of Brexit. EURACTIV France reports.

Since the European Commission announced the European Green Deal, it has been working on strategies to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Its strategy on offshore renewable energy is due to be unveiled on Wednesday (18 November).

The Commission stressed the need to strengthen the bloc’s offshore activities last March. With its wish to take the lead in its multi-year energy plan published last April, the French government has already started to build several wind farms and launched new calls for tenders from 2024.

Lagging behind

From Dunkirk to Noirmoutier, the French coastline should welcome seven new offshore projects between 2022 and 2027 with a capacity of 3.5 gigawatts. The building of these wind farms was authorised after the French state made calls for tenders in 2011, 2013 and 2016.

The French industrial branch of offshore wind energy is one of the most competitive.

Of the twelve European factories that produce offshore wind turbines, four are in France, Anne Georgelin, head of the French renewable energies union, points out. “It is a strength and an opportunity that we must use to launch offshore wind farms on French territory. Because we are very late compared to our European neighbours,” she added.

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EurActiv, 18 Nov 2020: France’s ambitious offshore strategy faces obstacles