February 18 (SeeNews) - The French market for wind energy will boom over the next few year surpassing the 15 GW mark by 2019, French research and marketing consultancy Xerfi says in a newly released report.
Having passed the 10 GW mark in 2015, wind power in France will expand to 14 GW in 2018 and to 17 GW by 2020, Xerfi projects.
French wind developers will have to adjust to the new rules for direct sale of power on the market plus a premium but the new system is also expected to open new business opportunities.
The transition to market sale should not be a problem to major players like EDF Energies Nouvelles or Engie, Xerfi analysts believe. Smaller operators, would probably find it more challenging and this would give impetus to the mergers and acquisitions activity as well as to commercial alliances and a general consolidation in the sector over the 2018-2019 period.
This consolidation will most likely be coupled with efforts for international development as already demonstrated by Quadran in Poland and Neoen in Australia, Xerfi says.
The offshore wind sector will take off in France in 2018, giving rise to a sizable industrial development in the country with 8,000 jobs to be created. Near Saint-Nazaire and Cherbourg, several factories are currently under construction to produce nacelles or giant blades for the offshore wind turbines of Alstom (now GE) and Areva.
By 2023, a total of 425 wind turbines are planned for installation across the five offshore wind farms which won the first two tenders.The third offshore wind power tender is not expected to be launched before the end of 2017 and its scope will be smaller when compared to its predecessors, the consultancy estimates.
The development of offshore wind is costlier than onshore plants and this is the reason that the government is taking its steps slowly there. According to Xerfi, the tariff for offshore wind in 2025 will be two times more expensive than the current purchase price for onshore wind. The development of the international market for offshore wind will be crucial for the development of this industry in France.
Floating technology spells interesting opportunities in the sector and French companies Nenuphar and Ideol are already well positioned there.