WIND

Finance Quarterly report out now!

The election of French president Emmanuel Macron, who fuses a pro-renewables stance with pro-business policies, means exciting opportunities for France’s wind sector.

A WORD ABOUT WIND

July 14, 2017

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The election of French president Emmanuel Macron, who fuses a pro-renewables stance with pro-business policies, means exciting opportunities for France’s wind sector.

This is what has emerged from our first Finance Quarterly report, published this week in association with leading energy advisor DNV GL. In this new series of special reports, published every three months, we give readers a quick and focused rundown of the wind market globally. These include data, interviews and macroeconomic analysis – and, in this first edition, we have paid more attention to France.

Although nuclear power accounts for 75% of France’s electricity production, the wind sector has been steadily growing in the country, which has now a total wind capacity of 12GW. Last year, almost 1.6GW of new wind farms were installed, putting it second only to Germany in terms of annual installations in Europe.

This is a testament to work done by the government of Macron’s predecessor Francois Hollande, another backer of renewables. Under Hollande, the previous government boosted support for the wind sector, with an approach to competitive auctions for renewables that is similar to the system in Germany.

Macron is now committed to furthering the role of renewables in France’s energy mix and has announced plans to launch tenders for 26GW of additional renewable capacity during his term, as part of a five-year, €50bn infrastructure investment plan.

The new president has some challenges to face if he is to achieve this goal. These challenges are both in the energy sector and on a wider macroeconomic level.

France has suffered years of sluggish growth, high unemployment and budget deficits, which have dampened investor appetite in every sector. Macron will have to work hard to boost the economy and rekindle business sentiment.

Complex regulations, a long permitting process and tariffs that favour local manufacturers have also made France a tough market to approach for international players.

Under Macron, the situation looks set for a change. For example, French ecology minister Nicolas Hulot pledged this month that the government would accelerate the growth of wind and solar by reducing administrative hurdles and addressing issues with land tenure.

If the government wants to improve the investment prospects in the country’s wind sector, that would be a good start.

If you want to learn more about France and our new Finance Quarterly report, click here.

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