Jun 5, 2013 - The connections of new wind turbines and solar farms in France to the national power grid collapsed in the first quarter of the year to their worst level in the last four years, according to preliminary data released by France's ministry of ecology, energy and sustainable development.
Between January and March 2013, the number of wind turbines in France increased with the modest 11 units to 1,144 turbines, while the installed capacity of the country's wind energy park went up by 73 MW to 7,667 MW.
The same gloomy situation was witnessed in the solar energy sector as well. The installed capacity of the solar park went up by the minor 88 MW to 4,113 MW.
These figures, albeit preliminary, are bad news for France's ecology minister Delphine Batho who has been making efforts to improve the performance of both sectors, while providing better regulatory conditions for them.
There are also fears that France's renewable energy targets, which should be accomplished by 2020, may not be fulfilled.
In an attempt to reassure sector players, analysts and investors, the energy ministry issued another press release, attributing the bad first-quarter figures to the regulatory measures of the former French government.
The incumbent government reminded it had made possible a legal amendment in April 2013 concerning the purchase of electricity derived from wind turbines. As for the solar sector, new projects with a combined capacity of 1,000 MW will come on stream this year. However, their plug-in to the national grid will occur in 2014.
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