NewsWorldRenewable energies: bad student, France is catching up

Renewable energies: bad student, France is catching up

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Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the first offshore wind farm in France on Thursday, off Saint-Nazaire, before the presentation, scheduled for Monday in the Council of Ministers, of a bill to accelerate renewable energies. A “good signal” for NGOs, but which remains to be confirmed. There was an impression of attending the skilful remediation of a bad student, Thursday, September 22, in Saint-Nazaire. Inaugurating France’s first offshore wind farm, off the coasts of Pouliguen and Croizic, Emmanuel Macron described his energy transition strategy, assuring that France was on the right track, despite a significant delay in energy renewables. “It’s a pioneering project because it carries within it the answers to the challenges of the moment”, he declared about the wind farm at sea. But the President of the Republic warned: “It is necessary that we go at least twice as fast on renewable energy projects”. “We need a massive acceleration”, he added. The strategy described by Emmanuel Macron, in line with his speech in Belfort last February, pursues three objectives: ensuring France’s energy sovereignty, decarbonize French energy and provide energy at affordable costs. To achieve this, the Head of State is betting on sobriety, with a 40% drop in energy consumption by 2050, and an increase, at the same time, in electricity production by 40% thanks to more production from nuclear power, but also from renewable energies. Hence the desire, expressed again on Thursday, to put the turbo on renewable energies (EnR) with the presentation to the Council of Ministers, Monday, September 26, of a bill to accelerate EnR.Car in this area. , Paris is clearly the dunce of the class. France is the only country in the European Union not to have met its objectives concerning the share of renewable energies in its final energy consumption. This was only 19.1% in 2020 while the target was set at 23%, according to figures published last January by Eurostat, the European statistical office. A French delay linked to “a very clear lack of political will “For Emmanuel Macron and the government, these delays are mainly due to French red tape. The bill which will arrive in Parliament in the fall therefore intends to remove these blockages. Thus, between respect for public law in terms of building permits, respect for environmental law, public consultations and the right of energy, it now takes an average of ten years for an offshore site to come into service in France, compared to five in Germany, six in the United Kingdom. For onshore wind, it’s seven years, twice as long as in Spain or Germany, and photovoltaic is hardly better off with five years of procedure. >> To read: Renewable energies: France wants to fill its lag behind offshore wind power The bill aims to shorten project completion times thanks to transitional measures, for 48 months, to simplify procedures (extension of public voting by electronic means), increase the possibilities of installation of solar panels (on abandoned spaces along highways, degraded land, existing car parks in the form of shade structures, etc.) or pooling debates by seafront for offshore wind power. But if these blockages are very real, they do not explain all the delays taken by France concerning renewable energies. “There has first been a very clear lack of political will in recent years with a government that has long had a halftone speech on renewable energies”, affirms Zélie Victor, energy transition manager within the NGO Climate Action Network. “Because the blockages also come from the lack of human and financial resources to process files at the level of communities or state services, she specifies. However, the fact of not having a clear framework has created difficulties. ‘indecision among some players. . A recent circular now asks the prefects to “facilitate the processing” of files. The National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE), seized by Matignon in early August to render an opinion on the bill, shares this analysis. In his opinion published on September 8, he attributes France’s delay in renewable energy to several factors: “the lack of prior planning, including in terms of jobs and skills; the complexity of certain administrative procedures the slowness and the lack of anticipation of the evaluations; the successive modifications of the regulations; the insufficiency of the human and financial means of the State and the communities to instruct and monitor the projects and support the structuring of certain energy sectors In addition, the CNTE “regrets the late implementation of legislative measures to accelerate the deployment of renewable energies, given the time needed to benefit from their benefits”. “A very good signal” for renewable energies However, and even if “it is the energy crisis that has just caused the government to become aware”, according to Zélie Victor of Réseau Action Climat, the project he law to accelerate renewable energies is “a very good signal” for renewable energies and “their role in responding to the climate and energy crisis”.Contacted by AFP, France Énergie Éolienne considers that this text can contribute ultimately to install renewables in the landscape, in particular by reducing the electricity bill for people living near parks, or by planning offshore wind power along the seafront – and not only locally – for a longer-term vision It remains to be seen what exactly the future law will contain when it is voted, in principle at the end of the year. Réseau Action Climat deems it in the “still unclear” state and believes that it has several holes in the racket.>> To see: An energy transition in slow motion: has France kept its COP21 commitments? “The current text does not deal with all renewable energies, but essentially with offshore wind power and photovoltaics, analyzes Zélie Victor. There are shortcomings in onshore wind power. be further developed on roofs. We are therefore waiting to see how this bill will be consolidated because as it stands, it is not up to the ambitions on all subjects. “To show its goodwill and bring together the maximum, the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, took a step towards environmental associations, Wednesday, by withdrawing a controversial article from the text of the law. The article in question – article 3 – wanted to raise the thresholds above which projects had to be submitted to an environmental impact study, with the aim of accelerating wind or solar installations. NGOs considered that it was legally questionable because it would have represented a derogation from the principle of non-regression of environmental law, ratified by a law of 2016. In addition, the “criteria determining the future thresholds for triggering an environmental assessment ( postponed to application decrees) do not make it possible to estimate the extent of the consequences of the project on biodiversity”, had alerted the National Council for the Protection of Nature (CNPN).

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