June 22, 2024
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TotalEnergies Criticizes France’s Renewable Investment

Sluggish project approvals and the requirement that wind power be sold to the government rather than directly to customers make France less attractive for renewable investments, according to Isabelle Patrier, director of TotalEnergies France.

Patrier’s comments came ahead of the inauguration of a 63-megawatt wind farm in northeast France by TotalEnergies on Friday.

According to Reuters, France aims to have 45 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind operational by 2050 to reach carbon neutrality. However, only two offshore wind farms totaling 0.97 GW are fully operational, with the bidding process taking 2.5 to 3 years on average.

“There are countries in which you go much faster in renewable electricity production than you do in France, whether it’s offshore wind, onshore wind, or solar,” Patrier said.

She pointed out that France’s 2019-2023 energy planning law called for 3.7 gigawatts of wind tenders, a target that has not been met, highlighting the challenge regarding the speed of deployment.

“In Germany, in offshore wind, you can recoup the electrons you generate and sell them directly to your clients in contracts to help them decarbonise, you’re not selling them to the German state … That’s the key aspect in wind in places we are present like Scotland, Britain, offshore New York in the U.S. where we’ve won large contracts, and in Asia.”

“France remains a key country for TotalEnergies,” Patrier said, but emphasized that the company will invest in offshore wind in regions where they can quickly produce electricity to supply their customers.

TotalEnergies is France’s third-largest green electricity provider, with 2 GW of installed renewable capacity in the country out of 23 GW globally. The company aims to triple its renewable electricity production to exceed 100 terawatt-hours globally by 2030.

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