France Trails on Wind Energy Amid Bureaucracy, Costs, Lobby Says

January 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

France missed annual goals for wind
energy development for a second year amid bureaucratic hurdles,
the cost of installation and local opposition, a lobby said.

About 650 megawatts to 750 megawatts of wind capacity were
installed last year, about half of the 1,300 megawatts targeted,
according to a presentation by the France Energie Eolienne
industry group today. The outcome is as much as a 20 percent
drop from 2011, which itself was down almost a quarter.

France plans to get 23 percent of its energy consumption
from renewables by 2020. President Francois Hollande has said
electricity from wind and sun offer “huge potential” for clean
energy and job creation and pledged to ease development hurdles.

The country gets on average 3 percent of its power output
from wind turbines a year compared with more than 75 percent
from nuclear reactors, the industry lobby said.

France had about 6,800 megawatts of installed wind capacity
at the end of 2011 compared with 29,000 megawatts in Germany and
more than 21,600 megawatts in Spain, according to the latest
statistics available from the European Wind Energy Association.

The government began a debate on energy after Hollande
pledged to lower the country’s reliance on atomic energy.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Tara Patel in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Will Kennedy at

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