The government wants to lower the cost of offshore wind


Discussions are launched with the operators, with the aim of ending this summer.

As expected, the cost of the six offshore wind farms (off Tréport, Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-mer, Saint-Brieuc, Saint-Nazaire and Noirmoutier) will be revised downward. An interdepartmental meeting was held on Thursday and the verdict is final: it is necessary to renegotiate as soon as possible the feed-in tariffs of electricity, to arrive at a new price by the summer, which could at most be divided by two. In France, the State has agreed to buy this electricity at an average price of around € 190 per megawatt hour (MWh), while the last calls for tenders for parks off the coast of Britain or the Netherlands were won at price between 50 and 80 € the MWh. Possibility to renegotiate tenders The discussions will be project-by-project with the three operators concerned: EDF, Engie and a consortium led by Spain’s Iberdrola. They were warned that in case of failure, tenders, already pretty much challenged on the spot, could be canceled. In early March, the Ministry of the Economy had introduced an amendment to the bill on “the State in the Service of a Trusted Society”, allowing renegotiation of the 2012 and 2014 tenders. But this provision had been referred to the Senate. This time, the executive decided to do otherwise, introducing a new amendment once the projects were reviewed. Gérard Rameix, the former president of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), will lead the discussions. > To read also: At sea, the turbines of the discord If we left it there, the 400 offshore wind turbines would cost 40.7 billion euros over twenty years to the community, according to the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE). This amount, which is distributed among all electricity subscribers (via the CSPE tax), may seem quite high for machines with a total capacity of 2 900 megawatts and only 40% of the time. A heated debate in perspective Operators are therefore forced to negotiate, even if they dispute the estimate of the CRE, accused of using bad methods of calculation. According to them, the bill would be between 12 and 13 billion euros and is largely justified by the cost of launching a new industrial sector in France. “If we want to compare with foreign prices, we must put everything on the table, including taxes in France are much higher,” plague an operator. > To read also: The wind would yield more than it costs Among the points likely to be negotiated, there is the reduction of margins, the extension of the duration of the repurchase agreement to 25 years or the assumption of connection costs by RTE, the network manager, as this is done elsewhere. Builders pay close attention to the subject and are also afraid of having to make efforts, even though they are already involved in the projects. General Electric has a plant in Saint-Nazaire and another will open in Cherbourg. For its part Siemens-Gamesa must build a large site in Le Havre.

Jean-Claude Bourbon

And also

The government wants to review the price of wind at sea

Discussions are at a standstill with the industry. They warn against the risk for a sector that is already struggling to set up.
Discussions are at a standstill with the industry. They warn against the risk for a sector that is already struggling to set up.

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