The proposed doubling of the distance between wind turbines and homes in France would make it nearly impossible to build new wind farms in the country, says France’s Wind Energy Association (FEE).
The Senate is planning to increase the wind farm distance requirement to 1 km (0.62 miles), as compared to 500 metres previously. FEE warned that such a move would threaten not only the wind industry in France, but also key renewable energy objectives set by the country.
France aims to boost the share of renewables in its total power production to 40% by 2030 and wind farms are an important part of that strategy. Among measures to support the goal, there were plans by the government to simplify the legal procedures for the wind sector so as to cut the time needed for constructing wind farms. In that context, the planned distance requirement changes come as a counter move.
In 2014 France installed 1,042 MW of wind, up from just 630 MW in 2013 and marking the highest annual installation level since 2011. According to the latest wind statistics by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), France had 9,285 MW of installed wind capacity at the end of 2014.
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