The Renewable Energy Law Review: France – The Law Reviews, 2021



France is on track to set up and implement its decarbonisation framework. It benefits from decarbonised electricity, the energy-generating mix being made up of nuclear power and renewable sources as well as fossil fuels.

Hydropower is predominant historically and constitutes the main source of renewable energy for electricity in France, with over 25GW installed and 50 per cent of renewable production capacity, while wind and solar energy development is important and represents more than 42 per cent of renewable production capacity, which drove the share of renewables in electricity generation to over 23 per cent in 2020.

Projections show wind power will overtake hydroelectricity in France by 2030, with over 43 per cent of the total energy mix.

Its growing contribution to the French energy mix is expected to be more significant with the first offshore wind projects taking off in Fécamp (498MW), Courseulles-sur-Mer (450MW), and Saint Nazaire (480MW), followed by Saint Brieuc (500MW), Yeu and Noirmoutier (496MW), Treport (496MW) and Dunkirk (600MW). However, the development of offshore wind projects is relatively slow, as it is systematically subject to litigation involving local stakeholders.

France is also among the top countries in terms of district heating and cooling capacity, with municipalities pursuing efforts to supply their networks with biomass, geothermal and solar renewable energy.

  • The year in review
  • The policy and regulatory framework
    i. The policy background
    ii The regulatory and consenting framework
  • Renewable energy project development
    i Project finance transaction structures
    ii Power purchase
    iii Non-project finance development
  • Distributed and residential renewable energy
  • Renewable energy supply chains
  • Other key considerations
  • Conclusions and outlook

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