Renewable Energy Increased Slowly in France in 2013


According to recent data from the French Ministry on Environment, both solar energy and wind power pursue their progression, albeit more slowly than in the past.

Regarding wind power, At the end of September 2013, the total wind power capacity in France was of 7,971 MW. This has to be compared with the 8.4 GW in the United Kingdom, 22.7 GW in Spain or the massive 31.3 GW in Germany (2012 figures from the EWEA, European Wind Energy Association)

The installed capacity in the first three quarters of 2013 were of 348 MW. This represents a 39 percent cut compared to the same period in 2012. In 2012, 815 MW of capacity had been installed. This is below the levels of installed capacity in 2009 ( 1,138 MW), 2010 ( 1,255 MW) and 2011 (830 MW).

Wind power produced in the three first quarters of 2013 10.1 TWh of electricity, a six percent increase over the same period in 2012. This represents a 2.8 percent share of the total electricity consumed in the country.

The installed capacity could double rapidly as around 500 onshore wind farm projects totaling around 5,500 MW and eight offshore projects totaling over 3,000 MW are to be installed within the next few months or years.

Regarding solar PV, the total capacity at the end of September 2013 was of 4,478 MW. This has to be compared with over 7,700 MW in Italy or 32,000 MW in Germany. (IEA data for 2012)

The situation is far from the boom witnessed between 2009 and 2011. In the first three quarters of 2013, only 420 MW of capacity were connected to the grid. This is a 59 percent cut compared to the same period in 2012.

This has to be compared to 300 MW in 2009, 800 MW in 2010, a massive 1,800 MW in 2011 and 1,100 MW in 2012. Over 70 percent of the installed capacity in 2013 comes from large projects of over 250 kW or intermediary-sized ones.

Overall, solar photovoltaic produced 3.7 TWh in the first nine months of 2013, amounting to one percent of the total electricity consumed in France.

About Author

Fascinated by sustainability and cleantech since 2004, Edouard wrote both his Bachelor of Arts' dissertation and Master's thesis on sustainable energy topics. He haven't stopped writing on these subjects ever since. A French Master's graduate in international management, Edouard has had several experiences in Marketing and Communications in Europe. He worked for firms as diverse as a German water treatment company, a leading French business school and lately a Belgian automation specialist. He is currently for hire globally. Since 2007 Edouard has been selecting for his own blog the latest headlines and best researches on sustainable development, climate change, cleantech and the world energy sector. With over 1,600 published articles, he is read all over the world. On Cleantechies, Edouard has been proposing since June 2009 news articles and opinion pieces on on French and European policies. Don't hesitate to contact him as he is always interested in discussing with new people.