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France Looks to Offshore Wind as a New Source of Energy

This week, EDF announced that France's first commercial-scale offshore wind project is now fully operational. The project is a joint venture between EDF and French energy company Enbridge, and is located off the coast of Normandy.

November 25, 2022
4 minutes
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This week, EDF announced that France's first commercial-scale offshore wind project is now fully operational. The project is a joint venture between EDF and French energy company Enbridge, and is located off the coast of Normandy.

This news is a big step forward for the country's offshore wind sector, with more projects set to come online in the years ahead. This is good news for the environment and the economy, and it's a great example of the progress we can make when we work together.

EDF's announcement that the 480-megawatt Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm would help support the French State's energy transition goals was well-received by shareholders. The French state is the majority shareholder in EDF, and the company's commitment to renewable energy is in line with the government's goals.

The Saint-Nazaire project, located in waters off the south west coast of France, consists of 80 turbines. Its first electricity was generated in June 2022.

Looking ahead, EDF said that the wind farm would be able to provide enough electricity to meet the needs of 700,000 people every year.

Although the Saint-Nazaire project is a major boost for France's fledgling offshore wind industry, the country has long been a powerhouse in nuclear energy.

According to the World Nuclear Association, France is home to 56 operable reactors. France derives a large majority of its electricity from nuclear energy, with nuclear power accounting for around 70% of the country's total electricity generation.

The wind power industry in the country has a well-established onshore sector. However, its offshore industry is much smaller, with a cumulative capacity of just 2 MW in 2021, according to figures from WindEurope.

According to a report from WindEurope, offshore wind installations are finally set to take off in 2022, with 3.3 GW of capacity expected to be installed between now and 2026.

EDF Renewables' CEO Bruno Bensasson expressed pride in commissioning France's first industrial offshore wind farm. This is a significant achievement for the company and for the country as a whole. Offshore wind energy has great potential in France, and this project is a major step forward in realizing that potential.

This project has been instrumental in the development of the offshore wind power industry in France over the past 10 years, creating significant numbers of jobs during construction and now in the operating phase.

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Bryan Curtis
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