France’ wind power capacity reaches 4,000 MW

The Grenelle de l’Environnement is a series of measures and laws promoting and advancing sustainable development in all major economic sectors in France. From climate change mitigation to biodiversity protection, it is very comprehensive.

Launched in 2007 after a series of debates between the State, unions, employers, NGOs and local authorities, the Grenelle is quite a success as its first effects are becoming visible.

For my first article here, I would like to present you its latest development.

According to an article [Fr] from the AFP, the installed wind power capacity in France reached 4,000 MW. In line with the targets set by the Grenelle, up to 25 GW will have to be installed by 2020. Out of these, five are due to be offshore.

This energy source now accounts for a bit more than one percent of the French electricity mix. The country thus becomes the fourth European nation in terms of installed capacity, behind Germany, Spain and Italy. To date, around 2,500 wind turbines have been already installed and 6,000 will have to be implemented by 2020. This represents huge opportunities for companies of the sector.

According to the Syndicat des énergies renouvelables [Fr], France benefits from the second largest potential wind energy capacity in Europe. This makes the Grenelle’s targets achievable if the current legal barriers will be tackled. Mr. Jean-Louis Borloo, the French Minister for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning announced at the end of last year that this will be done soon.

Now employing 7,000 people, the French wind power industry is expected to grow to 18,000 people by 2012.

If you have any question on the Grenelle de l’Environnement or related topics, please let me know below. I will be happy to answer them.

[photo credit: Flickr/Gregory Tonon]

Have any Question or Comment?

2 comments on “France’ wind power capacity reaches 4,000 MW

Joost Hoogstrate

It is really a good trend that governments are taking a proactive approach towards generating power from alternative sources of energy. expects fossils fuels to run dry at some point or the other. We need to be better prepared to face the challenges that these changes would bring upon us. Going the greener route for power generation is a welcome step in the right direction.

Joost Hoogstrate

Hi Joost and many thanks for your comment.

The thing with France is that its electricity market was up to recently – because of European laws – a monopoly. This enabled the country to go massively into nuclear as 80 % of the electricity comes from nuclear reactors.

So it’s no novelty for the local government to tackle electricity generation.

Besides the European Union is pushing renewable energy sources a lot as they have to reach 20% of total electricity generation by 2020. (source)

Otherwise, I agree with you : Going the greener route for power generation is a welcome step in the right direction.

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