The French government has issued a long-awaited decree identifying where turbines can be installed in each region.
Among other things, the ‘wind power plans’ must take into account the region’s wind power potential, environmental and landscape issues, national heritage, technical constraints and overall national targets.
The plans are to be drawn up jointly by the state-appointed regional prefect and the elected president of the regional council, in consultation with local authorities and all interested parties.
If they are not in place by July 2012, the prefect alone must establish the final version in order to avoid a moratorium.
While some plans are already under way, it is not clear whether they will act as a brake or a driver for wind power deployment. In practice, this could depend on the views of the people who draw them up.