Wind Energy: Engage, Involve, Energize!

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France

France france

 

Overall summary

 

State of play wind capacity installed and 2020 target

Cumulative onshore capacity mid- 2015: 9,743 MW (estimated 10,000 MW end of September)

NREAP Target 2020 (onshore): 19,000 MW

Source: France Energie Eolienne; European Commission, DG Energy, National Action Plan

In France, electricity from renewable sources is promoted through a feed-in tariff and tax benefits. The generation of heat through renewable energy plants is promoted through several systems of energy subsidies, tax regulation mechanisms as well as through a 0% interest loan. The main support scheme for renewable energy sources used in transport is a quota system. Furthermore, biofuels are supported through fiscal regulation. The use of the grid for the transmission of electricity from renewable sources is subject to the general legislation on energy. There are no special provisions for electricity from renewable sources. The procedure of grid connection is at the same time also the procedure for grid development, since the construction of a plant must occur simultaneously with the construction (development) of the district heating grid.

Find out more here.

 

Legal framework for information and engagement measures

2012: Schema regional climat, air, énergie (SRCAE) includes the Regional Schema for Wind – Schéma Régional éolien (SRE) which through public consultation defined favourable areas for wind (zones) in view of 2020 targets and beyond.

For wind farms/projects with height of less than 12m no construction permit is needed

For wind farms/projects with a height between 12 and 50m an impact notice and environmental evaluation are needed from the city hall

For wind farms over 50m an impact study and environmental evaluation are needed and they are subject to public participation (survey). The communities around have the right to consult all the documents and ask for explanations, and to give their opinion on the draft (before the end of the permit application to construct instruction). The project may also be the subject of meetings and consultation with the public. Based on the content and outcome of both the environmental evaluation and the investigation of the public, the ‘Prefect of the department’ decides whether or not to issue a permit.

Source: Comprendre les enjeux de l’Energie éolienne, ADEME, November 2015 (page 4-5)

The Energy Transition for Green Growth Law has been adopted in August 2015, six months before COP 21. It reinforces the renewable energy targets for 2030 with 40% of the electricity mix. Although it may be considered as a government's political will to accelerate the development of the sector in France, uncertainties have not been removed, including simplification of permitting procedures, constraints of implementation and future integration of wind power in the electricity market. The industry fears that this long-term instability weighs on the development of wind power.

 

Legal framework for innovative financial measures

There are two legal texts:

  1. Crowdfunding/Crowdlending Order (May 30, 2014) fixed the regulatory framework for crowd investing:
  • Platforms may be either « CIP » or investment service provider,
  • Public offering of securities are adapted,
  • New derogation for prospectus is created for offers below EUR 1M, where certain kinds of companies can offer securities.

Crowdlending

  • Loans are standardized to simplify and protect consumers.
  • Thresholds: EUR 1M per project, EUR 1 000 per creditor per project, EUR 4 000 for lends without interest. Credits are with installments, at fixed rate, for a limited period of time, under usury rate
  1. Energy transition law (August 17, 2015) enlarges the possibility of investors

Renewable projects developers can propose to local communities and individuals to enter the capital or take part in the project financing. The valuation of these measures will be also important in the future tenders for the other renewable energy sectors (wind power keeps the feed-in tariff until 2018). There is a strong incentive towards a financial participation of communities in renewable energy projects since the energy transition law.

Source: France Energie Eolienne