The French government has sent a circular to its prefects asking them to launch debates on the development of offshore wind farms in France, in order to set out the deployment targets for each coastline. The Atlantic France region is leading the way, with the only French wind farm to date located off Saint-Nazaire.
To reach the target of 40 GW by 2050, as promised by Emmanuel Macron, the French government launched a consultation process at the beginning of June to plan offshore wind energy for the next ten years and for 2050. On the coast of the Atlantic France region, this goal should result in several new wind farms being allocated over the coming decade.
Identifying “priority development zones” for offshore wind farms
The government has announced that it will be holding “major public debates” on offshore wind farm planning this autumn. There will be four such debates, one for each coastline: the East Channel/North Sea, the North Atlantic/West Channel, the South Atlantic, and the Mediterranean. In order to reach the target of 40 GW by 2050, the prefects will first have to bring together all the players involved in the maritime sector within the coastal maritime councils.
This consultation should make it possible to draw up a very precise map – by the summer of 2024 – of the areas where the 50 offshore wind farms promised by Emmanuel Macron could end up being located. France aims to launch 18 GW of new projects by 2033, and a further 14 GW by 2050.
A pioneering region in renewable energies
The only offshore wind farm in operation in France to date was installed in the region, off the coast of Saint-Nazaire, at the end of 2022. Atlantic France will also be home to many more in the years to come since the government plans to deploy 6 to 9.5 GW in the North Atlantic-West Channel zone and 2.5 to 5.5 GW in the South Atlantic by 2033, according to the recently published “range guidelines”.
With its long coastline and the presence of the Nantes Saint-Nazaire Port, the fourth largest port in France and the leading port on the Atlantic seaboard, Atlantic France is the #1 French region in the field of maritime renewable energies. It also attracts many innovative companies in this field.