France Will Build 54 New Onshore Wind Farms

France’s “Figaro” reported on November 23, that the French energy minister announced on the 23rd through 54 onshore wind farm project applications, the total power of the project is 931 megawatt-hours, the average price of the tender is 86.94 euros per megawatt-hour.

The French media said the government has set ambitious targets for the development of renewable energy, but the last two project tenders have been affected by technical difficulties, the next tender will start on December 4, with a total project power of 925 MW.

Global Onshore Wind Power Development

In the last decade, the global installed wind power capacity has grown rapidly, from 130GW in 2008 to 906GW in 2022.

It is expected that by 2024, global onshore wind power additions will exceed 100GW for the first time.

By 2025, the global offshore wind power installations will also hit a new high, reaching 25GW.

The next five years will see 680GW of new global grid-connected wind power capacity.

Policymakers need to take immediate action to avoid supply chain bottlenecks that could hinder the rapid growth of global wind power.

Potential supply chain bottlenecks could jeopardize the world’s achievement of the 2030 climate goals – a critical juncture for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

As you can see, the wind power industry has almost taken the world by storm in just over a decade, driving offshore wind at a high rate as well.

In 2022, the market share and expansion of the onshore wind power market declined sharply globally due to the impact of the New Crown epidemic on various industries. After a disappointing 2022, the rapidly adjusting policy environment globally has set the stage for accelerated growth in the coming years, with new wind power installations expected to reach an average of 136GW per year over the next five years, realizing a CAGR of 15%.

France Electricity

As early as last September, French President Macron said at a press conference after consulting with German Chancellor Scholz: “Germany needs our natural gas, and we also need electricity from our European neighbors, especially Germany.”

France, the world’s number one nuclear power producer as well as a perennial net exporter of electricity, and theoretically the least affected by the gas crisis, is now, rather ironically, resorting to a coal power producer.

The key reasons behind this are France’s heating mix, which is different from that of other major Western countries, its inaction on nuclear power infrastructure over the past years, and its erratic nuclear power policy.

According to the International Energy Agency, France’s nuclear power generation in 2021 will account for 69% of total electricity generation, far exceeding hydro, wind, and natural gas generation.

Although the government has begun to gradually downplay nuclear power in recent years, and vigorously encourage renewable energy generation, it is expected that until 2025 France’s nuclear power generation will still be as high as 67.2%.

Nuclear power is expected to account for 67% of total electricity generation in France through 2025.

The Sharp Decline in France’s Nuclear Energy Development

Electricité de France (EDF) reported last year that 28 of its 56 nuclear power plants are undergoing maintenance and are temporarily unable to be connected to the grid. According to DPA statistics, the installed capacity of nuclear power plants connected to the grid is only 25GW, less than half of the total installed capacity of nuclear power, which is at the lowest level in history.

EDF predicts that this year’s total French nuclear power generation will remain within the range of 280TWh to 300TWh, equivalent to the lowest level in the past 30 years, while last year France’s total nuclear power generation was as high as 361TWh.

Macron previously said that the number of nuclear power plants connected to the grid in a few weeks will gradually restore to 40, to January 2023 the number will continue to improve to 46, as the remaining 10 nuclear power plants can re-enter the grid is not known.

The French government has recently launched a national energy-saving program involving the public sector, transportation, and daily life. Prime Minister Borne pointed out that the purpose of this plan is to “reduce unnecessary energy waste” and ultimately achieve the goal of reducing national energy consumption by 10% in the next two years. She said that if France does not take action to save energy, the winter will face the danger of energy supply cuts. At the same time, the French government will “publish weekly electricity and natural gas consumption”, through visual data to determine whether the a real reduction in energy consumption.

The new plan also encourages people to work remotely to minimize the energy consumption brought by commuting. The French Ministry of Transport will give a one-time subsidy of 100 euros to each new user of the carpooling platform from 2023, and the maximum speed of public service vehicles on highways will be reduced from 130 to 110 kilometers per hour. The plan also calls on the public to reduce the time of hot showers, completely turn off electronic devices in standby mode at night, and schedule the use of some energy-consuming equipment to non-peak hours.

France Opens the Era of Onshore Wind Power

In 2020, France submitted its final version of the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) 2030 to the European Commission. France aims to use 33% renewable energy in its energy mix by 2030. This means that 40% of the electricity generation mix will be renewable – and that wind energy will account for half of this. The plan outlines the goals and specific measures for France’s energy transition, specifically mentioning that the key to implementation is to fully exploit the potential of French wind energy.

France is expected to have up to 34.7GW of onshore wind power by 2028, while installed offshore wind capacity is planned to increase by 8.75GW by 2028.

To achieve decarbonization and increase the proportion of renewable energy, France’s multi-year energy plan of specific measures, including the reduction of fossil energy consumption, in 2022 has closed almost all the coal-fired power plants, to maintain the diversification of the power mix in the nuclear power sector, to reduce nuclear power to 50% by 2035, such as the target.

What is an Onshore Wind Farm?

An onshore wind farm is a complete facility that utilizes wind from the land to obtain electricity. Among the current developments in countries around the world, China has more onshore wind farms and therefore more mature technology.

A wind turbine generates electricity and it is a structure supported by a reinforced concrete foundation to ensure stability and functionality. It has a controller that starts and stops the generator according to meteorological conditions, as well as a mechanism that determines the wind direction for correct orientation. The height of the tower depends on the meteorological conditions at the point of installation and has a system of navigational markers with specific lights and colors that are very visible to air traffic to ensure maximum safety.

Advantages of Onshore Wind Power

Wind is an inexhaustible source of clean, safe, renewable energy; virtually pollution-free, it produces neither toxic gases nor radiation.

B Reduced consumption of fossil fuels, which helps prevent climate change and move towards an energy transition.

C Onshore wind farms are portable installations, which means that the site can be restored once the farm has been dismantled.

D Wind turbines have minimal maintenance costs.

E Wind farms do not interfere with agriculture or livestock farming around the facility and can create a large number of jobs.

This is equivalent to the fact that in France, wind power cables are the “vascular nerve” of wind turbines. Some of the cables used for wind power are laid, made of materials, and have very high safety standards.

The French Government does not Forget Offshore Wind Power

In addition, offshore wind power, the French government proposed two offshore wind power projects located in the Mediterranean Sea, the power of 750 megawatts, the first project is located on the coast of Aude (côtes de l’Aude), a phase of 48 square kilometers, the second 96 square kilometers; the second project is located in the Gulf of Fos (Golfe de Fos), a phase of 52 square kilometers, the second phase of 103 square kilometers, but Both projects are still at the technical validation stage.