The race for energy production is on. While France is currently facing an energy crisis with half of its nuclear fleet shut down and the war in Ukraine, the Ministry of Energy Transition announced on Thursday 28 July an emergency plan to develop renewable energies.
“ In this period of high inflation, the rise in the cost of building materials led to the delay, or even the cessation, of many renewable energy production projects, their real costs no longer being covered by the purchase price of electricity or state-guaranteed biomethane. It is estimated that 6-7 GW of solar projects and 5-6 GW of wind projects are currently at risk,” explains the government.
A series of emergency measures
Faced with this, the Ministry of Energy Transition has announced that production projects likely to be completed quickly will be authorized to sell their electricity at high market prices for eighteen months before the contracts take effect. Rising material costs for all future renewable electricity generation projects should also be factored into state guaranteed prices. The reduction in tariffs for photovoltaic projects on buildings for the year 2022 should, for its part, be frozen.
All of the renewable projects that have already won tenders will see their power increased by up to +40% before their completion. Finally, biomethane production facilities that have obtained their environmental authorization will benefit from an additional commissioning period.
“ The measures announced by the government aim in particular to encourage investment in renewables by ensuring certain benefits., explains energy economist Jacques Percebois. To go further, it is also necessary, according to him, facilitate procedures concerning wind farm installations “.
“ At the same time, the Minister will launch a new photovoltaic call for tenders in Overseas France, in Corsica, and in the Ponant Islands (non-interconnected areas). It will also implement a new tariff window for photovoltaic installations on the ground of less than 1 MW, located on degraded, urbanized or urbanized land, as well as for solar trackers.also details the government.
A wind project offshore off the island of Oléron
In the longer term, the Ministry of Energy Transition has notably announced that it is pushing back to more than 35 kilometers from the coast an offshore wind project off the island of Oléron, in Charente-Maritime. Specifically, two parks offshore with a power of 1,000 megawatts (MW) each are planned outside the limits of the marine natural park of the Gironde estuary and the sea of Pertuis, to meet the requirements of the inhabitants of the island.
“ The second park could be located even further offshore with a technology that could be floating or posed according to preliminary studies which will start simultaneously with the first park”, details the ministry. In total, these installations should make it possible to supply a volume of electricity equivalent to the consumption of 1.6 million inhabitants, ie more than double the population of Charente-Maritime. The government announces that it is launching a competition procedure “from 2022 for commissioning” in the early 2030s “.
France, a bad European student
Renewable energies represent 20% of the French electricity mix. This makes France the only country in the European Union to have missed its target of 23% that it had set for the year 2020. At present, only one wind farm offshore is in operation: that of Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique), with twenty-seven machines installed on the eighty planned. The park will be fully operational by the end of the year.
Six other wind farms are to be commissioned between 2022 and 2027: Fécamp (Seine-Maritime), Ile d’Yeu and Noirmoutier (Vendée), Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d’Armor), Courseulles-sur-Mer (Calvados) , Dieppe-Le Tréport (Seine-Maritime) and Dunkirk (North).
The President of the Republic aims to reach 100 gigawatts for photovoltaic solar power and 40 gigawatts for offshore wind power by 2050. Faced with the emergency, “ I The real solution is demand concludes the economist Jacques Percebois. Consumers and especially businesses need to save energy . »