NewsWorldIn Saint-Nazaire, Emmanuel Macron is reviving with renewables -...

In Saint-Nazaire, Emmanuel Macron is reviving with renewables – Le Monde

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Emmanuel Macron visits the first French offshore wind farm, off Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique), September 22, 2022. JEAN-CLAUDE COUTAUSSE FOR “THE WORLD” The blades the size of an Airbus spin after 80 white mats, off Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique), 15 km from the coast. The shuttle that embarks Emmanuel Macron and his delegation, Thursday, September 22, seems small in the middle of this forest of steel at sea, the first French offshore wind farm. It took fourteen years and four presidential terms for a head of state to finally inaugurate it. “A happy day! “Celebrated Emmanuel Macron. Before admitting, mezzo voce, that “on the scale of a mandate, it is something terribly frustrating” to launch a project without seeing the fruits. In January 2011, Nicolas Sarkozy came here to announce the conquest of offshore wind power, decanted at the 2008 Grenelle environment forum, and the construction of Mistral ships promised to Russia. Emmanuel Macron was not wrong. This is what the Head of State seemed to say when he took up the thread of his Belfort speech, which in February camped out an energy strategy on three pillars – sobriety, renewable, nuclear. A policy he considers “validated by the war in Ukraine” and its cynical corollary, the blackmail of Vladimir Putin with Russian gas. “The key in terms of energy is diversification,” he repeats since his nuclear shift. Satisfied with a choice of sovereignty yet far from being materialized, he now wants to “go twice as fast” in the deployment of renewable energies. Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Emmanuel Macron confirms the nuclear shift in his energy strategy But the “glorious day” poorly masks the wall that still stands before him. To hope to cover electricity needs which will jump “massively” by 40%, Emmanuel Macron is staying the course: owning around fifty offshore wind farms by 2050. A power of 40 gigawatts within reach of construction sites. But France has fallen behind phenomenally. The Head of State could only observe, on three occasions, that “our neighbors are going much faster”. Alongside the 81 French offshore wind turbines, Belgium has 400, Denmark 630, Germany 1,500 and the United Kingdom 2,500… The French ambition for 2050 will reach the current British level. Slow and recalcitrant Meanwhile, technology is advancing at a gallop. The fleet ordered ten years ago (6 megawatts) is no longer at the forefront of innovation (14 megawatts). “In 2011, we were on the front of the wave. Now we are behind, even if it is still a Ferrari,” admits Olivier de la Laurencie, director of the Saint-Nazaire wind farm. Impossible to start all over again. “It’s not like changing a light bulb,” quips Franck Louvrier, mayor of La Baule. Why does an offshore site hatch in five or six years in neighboring countries, compared to ten years in France? Blame the delays and recalcitrants, dismissed the head of state. And in particular to “dilatory appeals”. A problem in a competitive world, where Americans and British already equip their wind turbines in Cherbourg and Saint-Nazaire. You have 60.78% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

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