The government has instructed the prefects to launch consultation for the development of offshore wind farms in France, setting them in particular quantified guidelines for deployment by seafront. State representatives received Wednesday this circular asking them to launch territorial consultations with the actors of the sea, said Thursday the ministries of the Sea, Ecological and Energy Transitions.
Faced with growing electricity needs and the need to green energy, the country plans to see some 40 gigawatts (about 50 farms) in offshore wind by 2050. To meet these objectives, the prefects will first have to bring together the actors of the sea within the maritime councils of facade, in order to prepare by autumn 2023 the holding, for the first time and simultaneously, of public debates on the four maritime facades of the country.
These debates will focus in particular on the identification of "priority areas for offshore wind development" until 2033 and then until 2050. For this, the State already delivers them ranges proposed by façade. By 2033, 7 to 11 GW could be deployed in the Channel-North Sea, 6 to 9.5 GW in the North Atlantic West Channel, 2.5 to 5.5 GW in the South Atlantic and 3 to 4.5 GW in the Mediterranean, according to these "range guidelines" published Thursday.
" READ ALSO Offshore wind : French ambitions take the water
The France late
The France wants to launch 18 GW of new projects by 2033, and an additional 14 GW by 2050. From administrative complications to systematic appeals, the country, which began awarding its first projects in 2011, has so far only one commercial park in operation, off the coast of Saint-Nazaire, since the end of 2022.
Seven others are in the pipeline, at more or less advanced stages, which puts the country in a position of delay compared to its German, British or Scandinavian neighbors. "Planning must carry a strategic vision of socio-economic and environmental issues but also give visibility to all maritime stakeholders and citizens," the three ministries stress.
They also call "to make regional public debates an opportunity to raise the challenges of the future of all maritime actors (fishing, maritime transport, boating, shellfish farming, shipbuilding...)". The government also plans to define "strong protection areas" to meet the challenges of biodiversity conservation and compatibility with economic activities. These "ZPFs" would eventually represent 5% of the surface area at the scale of exclusive economic zones.