Emmanuel Macron is going Thursday, September 22 to Saint-Nazaire, in Loire-Atlantique where 80 offshore wind turbines have come out of the water since last spring. On the occasion of this trip, the President of the Republic will present the “main axes” of the bill for the acceleration of renewable energies, which will be presented on September 26 to the Council of Ministers. During a trip to Belfort on February 10, 2022, the Head of State set the goal of providing France with around fifty offshore wind farms in the coming years, to target “40 gigawatts in service in 2050”. But the country is still far from this goal. How many wind turbines are there in France? There are just under 9,000 wind turbines producing electricity at the moment. Their development has accelerated over the past ten years: there were almost half as many in 2014. The regions where wind turbines have developed the most are Hauts-de-France and Grand-Est, which represent at they alone account for 50% of the power connected in France. Conversely, Île-de-France, the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, Corsica and the overseas territories are by far the least endowed regions. The offshore wind farm is still very low: before the Saint-Nazaire park, France had only one offshore wind turbine, floating, off Le Croisic. However, several parks, whose tenders date back more than ten years, will come out of the water by 2024: this will be the case in Saint-Brieuc, Fécamp and Courseulles-sur-Mer. Is France lagging behind its neighbors? If we look at the share of wind power in the electricity production of the main European countries, France is clearly lagging behind. In France, the wind produced just under 8% of electricity in 2020, behind hydroelectric dams and above all behind nuclear power, which represents almost 70% of French production. Among our direct neighbours, Germany is ahead: wind power accounts for more than 20% of its electricity production, which is three times more than here. Same thing in Spain. Other countries go even further: the share of electricity produced by wind turbines reaches almost 30% in the United Kingdom, 40% in Portugal and even 60% in Denmark. Why are we late? First because of a delay in ignition: the first wind turbine was installed in France in the early 1990s only. Several European countries, such as Germany and Denmark, had already started larger-scale production at the time. Then, it is also because there are now appeals against wind turbine projects, which have delayed construction sites for several years.
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