A group of more than 70 companies and organisations have called for France to commit to 3 GW of floating offshore wind energy in the Mediterranean by 2030.
In a statement dated 24 July, the signatories, who are or who would like to be involved in floating offshore wind energy in the region, responded to President Macron’s call for what he called ‘second generation windfarms.’
They noted that the Mediterranean's potential wind resource is among the best in France and the rest of Europe, and offshore windfarms there could play a key role in France’s energy transition, as defined by the Loi sur la Transition Energétique pour la Croissance Verte (LTECV, Law on Energy Transition for Green Growth).
They also highlighted the environmental conditions in the Mediterranean, good tidal conditions and relatively moderate swell they said were ideal for the deployment of commercial-scale floating windfarms.
The signatories to the response to President Macron’s call for floating offshore wind said they would like to see a commitment from the government to 3 GW of floating offshore wind capacity by 2030.
This objective will be included in the regional development plans of the South-Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur and Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée regions.
“We are collectively committed to achieving it at competitive costs by creating local jobs,” said the signatories to the document, noting that the region stands ready to respond to tenders for floating offshore windfarms, making use of technical know-how in the region at SMEs and larger businesses, R&D expertise, industrial capacity and port infrastructure.
They noted that France has already made a commitment to four pilot offshore windfarm projects that will be commissioned in 2020-2021. The floating windfarms, three in the Mediterranean and one off the coast of Brittany, will provide a pathway to commercial deployment of floating offshore wind energy. The pilot projects, each of 24 MW, have secured €330M (US$390M) in financial support and a feed-in tariff for 20 years.
Preparations have been under way for some time for the first commercial tender for a floating offshore wind after prime minister Édouard Philippe and France’s energy and environment minister Nicholas Hulot announced the launch of preliminary technical investigations for sites for the floating wind facilities.
Public consultations to define new zones for offshore wind – bottom-fixed and floating – are ongoing as is identification of zones for the first tender for a floating facility.
The signatories to the 24 July statement said they would like to see an initial, commercial-scale tender for floating offshore wind in the Mediterranean in 2019.