Germany made news this spring when it announced it would wean itself from nuclear power by 2022, but no country relies on nukes more than France; they supply a world-leading 74 percent of the country’s electricity. The French haven’t said they’ll ditch the atom like the Germans will, but they are now making a real push toward diversifying with renewable energy – including offshore wind power.
This month the government dangled $10 billion Euro to develop offshore wind capacity, and six industry players immediately joined forces to grab a piece of the business. EDF Energies Nouvelles is the glue holding together the consortium; it will hold a majority interest in the parent company, joined by DONG Energy, Nass & Wind Offshore, Poweo ENR, wpd offshore and Alstom.
According to the Wall Street Journal, France is looking to get 3.5 percent of its electricity from offshore wind by 2020. That might not sound like a huge amount, but the French are starting from zero, according to Reuters, so it will require putting up some 1,200 turbines off the north and west coasts of the country.
The consortium will feature what it called “a new generation” of offshore wind turbines made by Alstom. “New, innovative equipment with unmatched performances will provide a unique opportunity to design a wind turbine using French technology,” the companies said,”completely manufactured and assembled in France.”