- Published: 08 August 2022 08 August 2022
France gets around 20% of its electricity from renewable sources – 8% from wind energy, but it needs more to meet its climate goals while reinforcing energy security. The war in Ukraine and disruptions in its conventional electricity generation fleet are putting France’s energy system under stress.
The French Government is taking unprecedented steps to maximise renewable electricity generation as part of the solution. The French Government estimates that 5-6 GW of wind projects and 6-7 GW of solar projects may not go ahead because of the current economic environment. The Government has therefore announced several emergency measures to boost renewable electricity generation ahead of the winter. Among them is the possibility for new wind and solar farms to sell their electricity directly on the market for 18 months before locking in their CfDs, and the possibility for projects that have already won an auction to increase their capacity by up to 40% before completion. The Government also plans to factor the evolution of raw material costs into Contracts for Difference. These immediate measures will be completed by an upcoming emergency law on further accelerating the deployment of renewables in France. In parallel, the French Government doubled the size of the planned Oléron offshore wind zone (Atlantic ocean) to 2 GW. France wants to build 40 GW of offshore wind by 2050 spread over 50 wind farms. The country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, located in St Nazaire, started sending electricity to the grid this June, and offshore already employs more than 5,000 people in France. The industry aims to quadruple this to over 20,000 direct and indirect jobs.