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France to Put Offshore Wind On Fast Track

France will launch preliminary studies on the development of floating wind farms off Brittany and in the Mediterranean, as well as preliminary technical studies and a public debate on the proposed wind farm off Oléron in 2018, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said.

During his speech at the Conference on the Economics of the Sea held in Le Havre this week, Philippe said that France is lagging behind with the development of its floating and offshore wind potential and that the country needs to start catching up.

France Énergie Éolienne said that the Prime Minister’s announcements send a positive signal to offshore wind developers.

”The maritime spatial planning requested from the prefects for the summer of 2018 also shows that the Prime Minister is aware of the significant delays taken by France in terms of offshore wind and the imperatives of radical simplification and visibility necessary for the development of the sector,” the association said.

Olivier Perot, president of France Énergie Éolienne, said that the announcements must be part of an ambitious multi-annual energy program (PPE) for French offshore wind seeing that the industry needs ”visibility a long-term timetable for calls for tenders and a strong commitment from the State to implement the necessary investments and achieve the energy transition objectives that France has committed to.”

France’s current PPE proposes the development of 3GW of offshore wind capacity in France by 2023, with further 3GW in the pipeline post-2023. The program also calls for the approval of up to 2GW of floating wind and tidal projects in addition to the 100MW that will be in service by 2023.

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