Near the country's western coast, France has recently launched its first floating wind turbine called Floatgen. The project cost is $29.5 mn and turbine is able to provide electricity for nearly 5000 homes. Electricity produced by turbines, located in the ocean, is France's first attempt at offshore wind energy. A number of European businesses and research groups are supporting the Floatgen Project.
Ideol company coordinated the project. It’s head of sales and marketing manager, Bruno Geischier said that company planning to create offshore wind farms that will have 50 larger offshore wind turbines, capable of providing electricity to hundreds and thousands homes. This might happen in less than 10 years as France trying to reduce its nuclear power dependency, he added.
Industry group WindEurope based in Brussels, Belgium, predict that by 2030 France will become Europe's 2nd biggest wind energy producer after Germany who would remain largest producer. WindEurope chief policy officer Mr. Pierre Tardieu, said that” 4% of France electricity is produced by wind energy and renewable energy like wind energy is not only good for planet today but it is less costlier than it used to be. This is true for France of course, but it is also true for Europe as a whole,” he added.
President Emmanuel Macron's government held an international meeting on climate financing last Tuesday. The meeting took place 2 years after the Paris Agreement on climate change was signed in the French capital. Macron's aim of helping lead efforts to limit the rise of world temperatures is fitting as rising wind energy. Many European Union (EU) countries say they will likely meet the EU goal of getting 20% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. They may also increase their renewable energy goals for 2030. But such goals remain hard to reach. France, for example, is one of several EU members not expected to reach the 2020 goals.
Germany still depends upon fossil fuel even if it is a strong producer of renewable energy, and get its 40% energy through coal while wind and solar provides 30%. The greater dependence on coal is partly the result of Germany’s reduction of nuclear power which still provides 30% of the country’s electricity. Green Party Senator Ronan Dantec, said “I think French government is understanding that it is not possible in the world today to continue with nuclear power only. France with Floatgen, expecting to go from being EU's slow movers to a wind power leader.”
Today, France is among those countries who are testing the use of floating wind turbines. The technology uses wires attached to the ocean floor and can be deployed in deeper waters than non-floating offshore turbines. This helps to make use of deep ocean winds, which are often stronger and more continuous than winds on the coast. Other countries are also moving forward with floating, offshore turbines. In October, Britain launched the world’s first floating wind farm off of the coast of Scotland. The farm can provide electricity for up to 20,000 homes.
France’s Junior Environment Minister, Mr. Sebastien Lecornu during Floatgen’s launch in Saint-Nazaire said, “We are late to be honest and France yet to catch up with others. We have everything it takes to make this region big in terms of building wind turbines, both on land and offshore. Also Floatgen turbine alone created 70 jobs” he added. WindEurope’s Tardieu agrees, predicting Europe’s wind industry will generate more than 500k jobs by 2030, more than double by today.