The French Government recently announced new objectives for on-shore wind development. The contemplated objectives are 24.6 GW by 2023 and 34.1 to 35.6 GW by 2028 (rising from about 14.5 GW currently).
Repowering is widely seen as a key tool for reaching these objectives. The legal framework for repowering has been clarified in the course of 2018. However, there is still no unified specific regime for repowering projects.
Regulations allow for the granting of a 20-year premium contract for repowering projects – provided the facilities qualify as “new”. At the same time, such new facilities may require a new authorisation (a lengthy process) if the project is “substantially” different from the existing wind farms.
The measures implemented in 2018 are a good starting point for wind farm developers willing to consider a repowering project. That said, significant uncertainties remain (for instance: the combination of tariffs and permitting constraints, the implementation of the instruction by local authorities and the potential local technical constraints for grid connection). The upcoming implementation of the updated EU Directive on renewables may be an occasion to further clarify/simplify the framework.
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