Clean energy

Wind energy is considered to be clean as it does not directly produce CO2 or environmental pollution on the operations site. As of 2016, France has 1,400 onshore wind farms in operation, representing 4.5% of French consumption.


Wind power potential in France

France does not have offshore wind farms in operation yet. However, France has the best offshore wind "reserves" after the United Kingdom. France has the right geographical features for offshore wind installation: 3,500 km of coast and three well-positioned coastlines: the English Channel and the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Although France lags behind other European countries such as Denmark, Germany, and the United Kingdom, which together concentrate 90% of the offshore wind market, France does have significant strengths¹:

  • Solid industrial expertise that can be leveraged via the experience of various French companies in the offshore wind sector (such as Adwen and STX)
  • An initial industry structure based on clusters (groups of companies and institutions in the same skills field) and major competitive clusters (such as Bretagne Pôle Naval in Lorient, and Néopolia in Saint-Nazaire)
  • Strong capacity for new technology innovation


How are onshore et offshore wind turbines different?

Wind is stronger and steadier off the coast than inland. Compared to onshore wind, offshore wind produces more energy, but must adapt to the specificities of the marine environment—especially in turbine and foundation design, and in the operational phase. There are thus two modes of energy production based on a resource that is shared, but whose engineering is very different.


¹PricewaterhouseCoopers study on creating an offshore wind energy industry, 2010.


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