Wellington will no longer allow new offshore oil and gas exploration

New Zealand will forgo any new offshore oil and gas exploration to combat global warming, the government said, which the opposition immediately accused of "economic vandalism."

"We take an important step to tackle climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, "said Premier Jacinda Ardern (center left).

New Zealand's Oil and Gas Industry annually generates $ 2.5 billion New Zealand (€ 1.4 billion), of which $ 1.5 billion for exports alone. It employs 11,000 people.

Ms. Ardern made it clear that this decision did not concern exploration and drilling permits already granted, so that no current job would be affected.

She also announced a limitation on new inshore permits that would be granted in the Taranaki region of the North Island, where the New Zealand oil and gas sector is concentrated

"We are striving for the right balance for New Zealand. protect an existing sector and protect global warming for future generations, "she said.

Last year's environmental issues were at the heart of Mrs. Ardern's campaign, which formed a coalition with Greens.

She said she witnessed the impacts of global warming by visiting Samoa and Tonga last month, which were recently hit by a violent cyclone.

believed that New Zealand needed to be at the forefront of the fight against global warming.

"We have been world leaders on important topics, standing apart from nuclear, being the first to supporting the right to vote for women, "she said,"

"Now we could be a world leader in offsetting carbon emissions. We owe it to future generations. "

The government said there were currently 31 permits for oil and gas exploration, including 22 offshore

Environmental groups welcomed the New Zealand decision, Greenpeace claiming in particular: "The trend has irretrievably returned to the Supermajors in New Zealand."

"This is a big step forward for New Zealand and a turning point in the transition to a clean energy economy. said New Zealand's WWF director Livia Esterhazy,

But the conservative National Party opposition accused Mrs. Ardern of "economic vandalism" that could put thousands of jobs at risk.

Jonathan Young, MP, said the gas contributes to the country's energy independence and noted that the government's decision meant that New Zealand should within 10 years importing much more polluting resources like coal when gas reserves are exhausted.

Offshore wind farms: new appeals rejected by the administrative courts

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes rejected Tuesday new appeals against two projects of wind farms at sea, off Fécamp (Seine-Maritime) and the Normandy beaches of the D-Day, do we have learned from the jurisdiction.

These petitions, from environmental protection associations and individuals, sought to annul the concession of use of the public maritime domain for 40 years each of two offshore parks. These agreements are one of the three administrative authorizations required for offshore wind turbine installations, approved by prefectural decrees.

The motivations of the administrative judges were not known Tuesday noon.

At the hearing, on 16 March, the public rapporteur had concluded that the applications should be dismissed, considering that the future wind turbines – 83 for the Fécamp park, 75 for the one off Courseulles-sur-Mer (Calvados ) and the landing beaches – were far enough off the coast.

The court also followed the recommendations of the public rapporteur for a third offshore park project in the bay of Saint-Brieuc. The judges, as suggested by the public rapporteur, annulled the order of the prefect of Côtes d'Armor approving the concession of use of the public maritime domain, for a vice that does not affect the concession itself. This decision should only result in a slight delay for the project.

The offshore wind farms off Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Saint-Brieuc are the first, along with that of Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique), awarded in 2012 by national government tender . That of Saint-Brieuc was awarded to the Spanish Iberdrola and the other three to EDF.

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes, competent to rule, in first and last instance, on all disputes relating to installations for the production of renewable energy at sea, has already rejected several appeals against other authorizations exploit for these projects.

Some are still the subject of appeals before the Council of State.

The first French offshore wind farms are expected to enter service at best in 2021 or 2022, a marked departure from northern Europe.

Mitsubishi Corporation Invests in UK Offshore Wind Farm

Japanese trading company Mitsubishi Corporation announced Monday that it has signed an agreement to acquire 33.4% of a major offshore wind farm project in the UK, alongside Engie and EDPR, a subsidiary of the Portuguese electrician EDP

The 950-megawatt (MW) Moray East wind farm in the North Sea, 22 km off Scotland, is scheduled to be commissioned in 2022 and will be one of the largest in the world, details the group in a statement.

Mitsubishi Corporation bought part of the 77% held until now by EDPR but does not specify any of the financial elements of the operation conducted via its subsidiary Diamond Generating Europe (DGE), which specializes in offshore wind and is based in the UK

This is not the Japanese group's first investment in offshore wind power in Europe, where it also holds stakes in a park project of more than 700 MW in the Netherlands, and in one More than 300 MW in Belgium

Mitsubishi Corporation is also present in a 130 MW fleet already in operation in the Netherlands.

Thanks to significant cost reductions in recent years, offshore wind is developing rapidly in Europe, while the European Union has set ambitious targets for renewable energies. [19659007]

Battle in the Senate around offshore wind

The amendment was introduced at the last minute by the government as part of the first reading in the Senate of the bill "State in the service of a society of trust", already adopted in the National Assembly . He was rejected by show of hands. Its deposit provoked an outcry in Brittany, Normandy and Pays-de-la-Loire, the three regions where the construction of six of these parks is planned . The presidents of the three regions asked Wednesday, March 14, 2018, " an emergency meeting " to Prime Minister Philippe Philippe to expose their " fears about the risks that weigh today as to the future of this strategic sector "

For the Secretary of State for Public Accounts Olivier Dussopt, this amendment was to give" a legal basis for renegotiations with the winners of tenders on renewable marine energies to lower purchase tariffs and allow the withdrawal of administrative authorizations by compensating the winner ". The rates of the current tenders are too high, he said, " up to five times higher than the market rates ". " The authorized wind turbines in 2011 and 2014 cost 41 billion euros to public finances over twenty years for only 3 gigawatts ", he added.

" If it is legitimate to re-examine the economic balance of these projects, this can only be done by negotiation with the winners ", replied the rapporteur Jean-Claude Luche (UC, Ardeche). Christophe Priou (LR, Loire-Atlantique) estimated that the adoption " would inevitably postpone the launch of off-shore parks, while the regions have invested 600 million euros in port infrastructure to maximize the economic benefits of winning projects ". " We can not trust a state that changes its foot ," said Bruno Retailleau (LR, Vendée). " What to think of a very heavy amendment that is exonerated from impact studies when the Prime Minister asks for better legislative work? "

The presidents of the regions concerned pointed to the times " the lack of consultation both with the actors of the sector EMR (Renewable Marine Energies, Ed) (19459007) with the local authorities concerned ", but also the " retroactive nature (…) likely to lessen the confidence of investors and industrialists of the sector ". And to remember the investments (over 600 million euros) already made by these regions in terms of infrastructure. Elected officials from all sides have expressed for several days against this amendment, seeing a threat to the future of offshore wind.

"Legal uncertainty"

Companies involved in these projects, grumbling growls also. In a tribune addressed to Figaro the actors of the sector (industrialists, subcontractors and future operators) warn about the risks of this amendment and recall that the six already drafted projects must allow to create " 15,000 industrial jobs "mainly in the three regions concerned, with the construction of several factories. For France Énergie Éolienne (FEE), which brings together industry professionals, " the government amendment is problematic because it breaks the climate of trust we were in, it undermines the long-term commitments that were taken (… ) ", declares to AFP Pauline Lebertre, general delegate of this association.

" That creates a legal uncertainty for the carriers of projects and for all the investors in the projects EMR "notes Ms. Lebertre. " We will lessen the energy transition of France ," she added. " This is a very negative signal sent by the government ", confirms Dominique Follut, vice-president of the Neopolia business cluster, in charge of the EMR.

Six wind farms are concerned, recorded in two tenders. The first, awarded in 2012, concerns the projects of Courseulles-sur-mer (Calvados), Fécamp (Seine-Maritime), Saint-Brieuc (Côtes d'Armor) and Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique). The second, dating from 2014, covers the sites of Tréport (Seine-Maritime) and Yeu / Noirmoutier (Vendée). These various parks should come into service at best in 2021 or 2022. France is lagging behind in the field of EMR compared to northern Europe.

New appeals against three offshore wind farms examined by the courts

The Nantes Administrative Court of Appeal on Friday examined new appeals against three of the first French offshore wind farm projects, off Fécamp, Saint-Brieuc and the Normandy beaches of the D-Day.

These petitions, from environmental protection associations and individuals, seek to cancel the 40-year concession agreement for the use of the public maritime domain of each of these three offshore parks, one of the three administrative authorizations required for offshore wind turbine installations, approved by prefectural decrees.

The applicants denounce for each of the projects the impact on the environment but also the visual impact of these parks with 62 to 83 wind turbines, nearing or exceeding for that of Saint-Brieuc the 200 meters high.

The public rapporteur concluded that the appeals against the park off Fécamp and Etretat (Seine-Maritime) and against Courseulles-sur-Mer (Calvados) and the Normandy beaches of the D-Day should be dismissed. In particular, he pointed out the sufficient distance of future wind turbines, at least ten kilometers from the coast or beaches.

On the other hand, it concluded that the prefectural decree approving the concession for the park off Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d'Armor) had been annulled for a defect that did not affect the concession itself. . If the court follows this advice, it will only cause a further delay in the commissioning of the park.

Administrative judges must make their decisions known within a fortnight.

The offshore wind farms off Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Saint-Brieuc are the first, along with that of Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique), awarded in 2012 by national government tender . That of Saint-Brieuc was awarded to the Spanish Iberdrola and the other three to EDF.

The Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes, competent to rule, in first and last instance, on all disputes relating to installations for the production of renewable energy at sea, has already rejected several appeals against other authorizations exploit for these projects.

The first French offshore wind farms are expected to enter into service at best in 2021 or 2022, a clear departure from northern Europe.

In recent days, industrialists and communities have been moved by uncertainties in the development of this sector, after the government tabled a controversial amendment. Rejected by the Senate on Wednesday, it would have renegotiated the feed-in tariffs for electricity produced by wind farms planned.