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French wind industry tipped to be crème de la crème

According to WindEurope’s CEO, Giles Dickson, France has the brightest wind energy outlook of any European country. He was speaking at the eighth national symposium on wind power in Paris some days ago.

While not citing any specific figures pending publication of a new report by WindEurope next week, Dickson did suggest France could become the second largest wind energy producer behind Germany by 2030, off the back of favourable policies being rolled out by Emmanuel Macron’s government.

Sitting behind Germany, Spain and the UK, France is currently number four in terms of installed wind capacity, although Dickson announced that his association estimates that it will overtake the latter two nations by 2030.

“From where we are sitting in Brussels, and looking at what is happening across Europe, the outlook for France is maybe the most positive that we are observing,” he said. Figures released by France’s energy ministry earlier this year showed the country’s grid-connected wind power capacity had grown by 1.3 GW in 2016 to a total of 11.7 GW, while almost 8 GW of onshore and just over 3 GW of offshore wind projects were in the pipeline at the end of the year.

A look into the future

Meanwhile, the French President has announced plans to boost the share of renewable generation in the country’s electricity mix through a tender competition for 26GW of renewables capacity during his first term. Forecasts suggest wind’s share of French electricity generating capacity would top 25% in 2030.

According to the French renewables industry body, Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables, France’s offshore wind potential stands at around 90 TWh.