Terrestrial wind: net decrease in tariffs for future installations

The price of electricity generated by future onshore wind turbine installations will be "significantly lower" than the previous purchase price, according to the first results of a call for tenders issued by the government on Wednesday, illustrating competitiveness growing renewable energies.

"The results are unambiguous: the maturity and competitiveness of onshore wind and more widely renewable energies are a reality," said the Minister of ecological transition and solidarity Nicolas Hulot, quoted

Twenty-two winners were selected to install onshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) and a weighted average price of 65.40 euros per megawatt hour. The last purchase tariff, set in 2017, was set by order at 72 euros / MWh and only applies to installations of less than 18 MW.

For Marion Lettry, Deputy Delegate General of the Renewable Energy Union (SER ), these results show that wind energy "can take an important place in the French energy mix", at a time when the government is working on the Multiannual Energy Program (PEE), roadmap of energy ambitions for the years to coming in.

The 500 MW awarded on Wednesday is only the first wave of a global tender of 3 GW to be spread out over three years

 Aeoliennes in Radenac (Morbihan), October 3, 2017 (AFP / Archives - DAMIEN MEYER)

Aeoliennes at Radenac (Morbihan), October 3rd, 2017 (AFP / Archives – DAMIEN MEYER)

This procedure is a first for the sector since the modification of the support mechanism to the wind power in France, occurred last year

Previously, the electricity thus produced was bought by EDF at a rate defined by the public authorities. Now, it will be sold at the market price, to which will be added a guaranteed remuneration supplement for twenty years, the candidates claiming the lowest complement being privileged.

A third of the projects will benefit in addition to a bonus to have participatory financing.

– "Need for stability" –

These results "will lead the government to favor this procedure (tender) for future projects by redefining the scope projects eligible for support in the form of a call for tenders and purchase price "(the former less competitive system Ed.).

For the SER as for France wind energy, the association which groups the industrialists of the sector, this announcement is a "bad signal" sent to the sector.

 Aeolian in Radenac (Morbihan), October 3, 2017 (AFP - DAMIEN MEYER)

Aeolian in Radenac (Morbihan), October 3, 2017 ( AFP – DAMIEN MEYER) [19659008] "We want things to be done in a progressive manner and in consultation with the sector," said Ms. Lettry, deeming "important to maintain these two devices to ensure a harmonious development of wind power throughout the territory", and not confined to the windiest or most accessible regions.

"The actors need stability," added France's wind energy, adding that the current regulations were just a year old. According to the association, extending the tendering system to smaller facilities risks "jeopardizing a number of projects."

These criticisms follow the more favorable reactions of mid-January, when M Hulot had unveiled measures to lift the brakes on onshore wind power.

Among the ten measures then presented included changing the distribution of tax benefits, increasing the share that municipalities receive for wind turbines, and removal of a level of jurisdiction for appeals, which will be dealt with directly by administrative courts of appeal

In 2017, 1,797 MW of wind turbines were connected to the grid according to the "Panorama of renewable electricity" broadcast at the beginning of February. "This is the best year ever," reacted to AFP Jean-Louis Bal, president of SER.