Wind power in France

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Wind turbines in Champagne-Ardenne.

In 2015 France reached a total of 10,358 MW installed wind power capacity[1] placing France at that time as the world's eighth largest wind power nation by installed capacity, behind the United Kingdom and Canada and ahead of Italy and Brazil. According to the IEA the yearly wind production was 20.2 TWh in 2015, representing almost 23% of the 88.4 TWh from renewable sources in France during that year.[2] Furthermore wind provided for 4.3% of the country’s electricity demand out of the 18.7% provided by renewables in 2015.[2]


France has the second largest wind potential in Europe.[3] The country's large wind power potential is due to its large land area and extensive agricultural landscape where turbines may be located more readily as well as access to considerable offshore resources.

Whilst France has been a relative late developer in wind power compared to other European countries it now has the target of more than doubling onshore wind power capacity from 2015 levels by 2023.[2] Offshore wind power is schedule to come on line from 2018 for the first time and including marine energy could rise to up to 11.1 GW of power by 2023.[2] Realisation of these plans would more than likely see France overtake highly ranked Spain in terms of installed capacity by 2023.

The French government initially planned to produce 21% of its electricity consumption with renewable energy in 2010 to comply with European directive 2001/77/CE of 27 September 2001. This mean' tthat France had to produce 106 TWh of renewable energy in 2010 when it only produced 71 TWh in 2006. Wind power represents 75% of the 35 TWh additional production in 2010.[4]

Installed capacity[edit]

Wind turbines in the Aveyron department of the Midi-Pyrenees region of France
Year Installations


2002 148 [5]
2003 248 [5]
2004 390 [1]
2005 757 [1]
2006 1,711 [1]
2007 2,495 [1]
2008 3,577 [1]
2009 4,713 [1]
2010 5,977 [1]
2011 6,809 [1]
2012 7,613 [1]
2013 8,558 [1]
2014 9,285 [1]
2015 10,358 [1]

Onshore wind power[edit]

Current situation[edit]

As of year end 2015 all windpower in France is currently onshore, the first 500 MW of offshore windpower is not due to come online in 2018. By year end 2015 the total onshore installed capacity of 10,358 MW consisted of 5,956 turbines, making the average turbine at just under 2 MW of power, newer turbines may be larger following the development of wind power in the last decades.[1] The leading regions in France in 2015 were Champagne-Ardenne with an installed capacity of 1,682 MW, Picardie with 1,502 MW, Centre with 872 MW and Bretagne with 836 MW.[1]

Future projections[edit]

Projected onshore windpower in France[2]
2014 2018 2023 low 2023 high
Onshore wind power 9,300 MW 15,000 MW 21,800 MW 26,000 MW

Onshore wind power is projected to rise to 15,000 MW by 2018 and between a low target scenario of 21,800 MW and a high target scenario of 26,000 MW by 2023.[2]

Offshore wind power[edit]

Future projections[edit]

Projected offshore windpower and marine energy in France[2]
2014 2018 2023
Offshore wind power - 500 MW 3,000 MW, (an additional 500 to 6,000 MW to be deployed, following consultations

in the proposed zones, the outcome and results of the first projects and on the basis of costs).

Marine energy (floating wind

turbines, underwater turbines etc.)

- - 100 MW (an additional 200 to 2,000 MW capacity deployed,depending on the outcome of the

trial projects and according to costs)

Total - 500 MW 3,100-11,100 MW

The first tranche of offshore wind power is expected to come on line in 2018 with 500 MW capacity. By 2023 another traditional 3,000 MW of capacity will come online with an additional 500 to 6,000 MW of performance dependent installation planned. Marine energy including floating wind turbines will add an additional 100 MW as well as an additional 200 to 2000 MW of capacity by 2023. Overall including marine energy offshore installed capacity will rise to between 3,100 and 11,100 MW by 2023.

Offshore wind farm projects[edit]

See also: List of offshore windfarms in the North Sea

The following offshore windfarm projects listed have submitting their applications for consent.

Wind farm Cap.
Turbines Where When Build
range (m)
km to
Country Owner Refs.
Hautes Falaises (Fécamp) 498 83 x 6 MW Haliade 150-6MW (GE Energy) 49°53′31″N 0°13′37″E / 49.892°N 0.227°E / 49.892; 0.227 (Hautes Falaises (Fécamp) 498MW) 2021 onwards 2000 mill Euro 25-31m 13km  France EDF (SA) [6]
Calvados 450 75 x 6 MW Haliade 150-6MW (GE Energy) 49°28′12″N 0°31′19″W / 49.470°N 0.522°W / 49.470; -0.522 (Calvados 450MW) 2018 onwards 1800 mill Euro 21-30m 11km  France EDF (SA) [7]
Banc du Guerande 480 80 x 6 MW Haliade 150-6MW (GE Energy) 47°09′36″N 2°36′25″W / 47.16°N 2.607°W / 47.16; -2.607 (Banc du Guerande 480MW) 2021 onwards 2000 mill Euro 10-21m 12km  France EDF (SA) [8]
Projet eolien en Mer de la Baie de Saint-Brieuc 496 62 x 8 MW AD8-180 (Adwen) 48°51′14″N 2°32′13″W / 48.854°N 2.537°W / 48.854; -2.537 (Projet eolien en Mer de la Baie de Saint-Brieuc 496MW) 2020 onwards 2500 mill Euro 28-36m 16.3km  France Caisses des depots et consignations [9]

  • "Cap." is the rated nameplate capacity of the wind farm
  • "When" is the year when the windfarm was commissioned and put into service.
  • "Cost" is the total capital cost of the project up to commissioning.
  • "Cap. Fac." is the average capacity factor, i.e. the average power generated by the windfarm, as a percentage of its nameplate capacity.
  • "km to shore" is the average distance of the windfarm to shore, or (where available) the distance from the in-farm transformer/substation to the shore
  • "Depth range (m)" is the range of minimum to maximum depths of water that the windfarm is sited in
  • "Refs" cite the source references for the information. The [w ...] footnotes link to each windfarm's own home page

Floating turbine test sites[edit]

France is operating a number of offshore test sites for prototype floating wind turbines which would allow turbines to be located in deeper waters. These include the Nenaphur test site,[10] the Nenuphar twin float,[11] the Floatgen Project[12] and the Sem-Rev Site d'Experimentation en Mer[13] which also tests wave energy converters.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "GWEC Global Wind Report 2015, p42.". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Ministre de l'Environnement, de l'Énergie et de la Mer, Programmation pluriannuelle de l'énergie, 27 October 2016.". 
  3. ^ "Wind Energy the Facts". 
  4. ^ source: Jérôme Gosset et Thierry Ranchin: Bilan et prospective de la filière éolienne française) [1]
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ [2] 4C . Retrieved: .
  8. ^ [3] 4C . Retrieved: .
  9. ^ [4] 4C . Retrieved: .
  10. ^ "France Energies Marines". 
  11. ^ "INFLOW". 
  12. ^ "Floatgen". 
  13. ^ "Marine Test Site".