a ticket and a circular to go “at least twice as fast”

Emmanuel Macron, Christophe Béchu, Minister for the Ecological Transition, and Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for the Energy Transition, in Saint-Nazaire, in Loire-Atlantique, on September 22, 2022.

A bill, regulations, political momentum. From Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique), where he inaugurated the first wind farm in the sea off the French coast, Emmanuel Macron traced, this Thursday, September 22, the main lines of the different tracks to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy. Unfolding a clear goal: go “at least twice as fast” for the commissioning of new installations. “If we go slower than our European neighbors, we will have more problems”added the head of state.

The actors in the sector welcome the declared ambition to bet on renewables to face the energy and climate crises, while France is now one of the worst results of the European Union in this area. In 2021, these energy sources represented only 19.3% of gross final energy consumption, well below the threshold of 23.7% necessary to respect the trajectory set by the country’s energy roadmap.

How to catch up? The bill called “acceleration of renewable energies”, aimed at simplifying procedures, freeing up space for the installation of new projects and better sharing the value generated by these energy sources, must be presented on Monday, September 26, in the Council of Ministers. “This text goes in the right direction but once again forgets about heat and renewable gas, while electricity will represent only 55% of our consumption in 2050”points out Alexandre Roesch, general delegate of the Union of Renewable Energies.

Confusing “simplification and repeal”

Among the important measures of the text are, for the representatives of the sector, the possibility of putting together public debates on offshore wind farm projects at a coastal scale, to give more visibility to the different users of the sea; the recognition of the nature of “great public interest” of the facilities; o Provisions that facilitate power purchase agreements: contracts concluded directly between a producer and a consumer, generally long-term and at a fixed price.

Strongly contested by environmental protection agencies, Article 3, which appears in the version of the bill submitted for consultation, is eliminated. It allowed lowering the thresholds from which a project should have been subject to an environmental assessment. “Simplification was eagerly awaited but the bill turned the issue on its head by confusing simplification and repealexplains Jean-Baptiste Lebrun, director of the CLER-Network for the energy transition. The renewable sectors do not ask to be less attentive to the protection of biodiversity or other issues. »

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