The latest version of France’s long-term energy plan, the Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie (PPE, or multiannual energy programme) includes an additional 500-MW of bottom-fixed offshore wind capacity
A second, 250-MW floating offshore project has also been confirmed, but overall targets for offshore wind are still less ambitious than they might be.
France Energie Eolienne deputy director Matthieu Monnier told OWJ, “a bottom-fixed project was added to the PPE, which adds an extra 500 MW compared to the first version of the PPE, and the second floating offshore wind project in the Mediterranean Sea, to be awarded in 2022, has been confirmed.” The 500 MW of new capacity has been added to the first PPE planning period, which covers 2019 to 2023.
As highlighted previously by OWJ, early drafts of the PPE were deeply disappointing, and included only a small volume for offshore wind energy in the next decade (between 4.7 GW and 5.2 GW) and small and irregular numbers of tenders. None were listed in 2021 and 2022, and from 2025 onwards, the plan made room for only 500 MW of capacity – offshore or floating, depending on prices and the production potential – per annum.
That situation improved following the result of the 600-MW Dunkirk offshore wind tender in 2019, which saw costs fall significantly, following which the French Government decided to double its meagre target for offshore wind to 1 GW per year, but the plan remains very unambitious compared with those outlined in some other European countries.
“This is certainly a better draft if we compare it with the first one, published in January 2019, but the level of ambition for offshore wind is still lower than we would like to see,” Mr Monnier said.
Sounding a note of caution about the higher target, Mr Monnier said that, now the targets for offshore wind have been revised, France Energie Eolienne, the government and the industry as a whole “have to work to make sure that the projects are implemented according to the schedule that has been outlined.”
France’s first and second round of bottom-fixed offshore wind projects were plagued by delays due to permitting issues.