March 12 (Renewables Now) - A key article in a draft bill, submitted to French Senate on Friday, may provide a way for the government to revise downward the tariffs for offshore wind energy projects awarded between 2012 and 2014.
The amendment to article 34 of the « Un Etat au service d’une société de confiance » law , originally intended to simplify regulatory rules for renewable energy projects among other reforms, was proposed with the following motives.
"In 2011 and 2013, the State held two tenders to select candidates to build and operate six offshore wind farms. To date, no power purchase contract has been signed and none of these facilities are built. The tariffs awarded to these facilities are very high and no longer align with the current prices of offshore wind power, resulting in an excessive remuneration for the successful applicants."
"Since prices of offshore wind farms have fallen sharply, the state shall seek to reduce the cost of public support for projects while still supporting the development of the offshore wind industry," adds the text, also stating that: "If renegotiation of contracts is not possible, one of the options could be to terminate these projects and restart a new tendering procedure as soon as possible in order to fully benefit from the technological advances."
The bill will be considered in open session of the Senate on March 13.