Jul 1, 2014 - The French minister of industrial renewal Arnaud Montebourg last week presented a draft decree that suggests the use of a single permit for offshore wind projects.
At present, wind power schemes in France need to secure a range of approvals, including for the right to occupy the maritime domain, as well as environmental and construction clearance. Permits for grid connection are issued under separate regulations.
If the draft becomes law, regional authorities will be able to issue one permit for all renewable energy schemes "in the public maritime domain" and for inter-array connections and related grid connections. In addition, it defines conditions for awarding the permits, appeal periods and conditions of control, as well as penalties for non-compliance with the provisions.
The decree could be issued within 18 months, while a bill of ratification will be presented to the parliament within five months after the publication of the decree.
France is the eight most popular market for offshore wind, according to Ernst & Young's technology-specific indexes. The French government in May awarded 1 GW of wind projects to a consortium formed by domestic utility GDF Suez (EPA:GSZ), Portugal's EDP Renewables (ELI:EDPR), Neoen Marine and Areva (EPA:AREVA). The contracts were signed as part of a national tender launched in March that is to support the country’s goal to have 6 GW of offshore wind turbines by 2020.
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!