France is 8th in wind energy with 18.7 Gigawatt installed capacity, producing 36.8 Terawatt-hours of electricity annually, contributing 7.8 per cent of total electricity generated. This article will discuss wind energy in France and investigate the ambitions, strategies, and new and upcoming offshore wind power plants. It will also shed light on the key players and the challenges plaguing the wind energy sector. Wind energy will be crucial in France’s quest to reach net zero by 2050.


In March 2022, the French government targeted to install at least 18 Gigawatt of offshore wind power by 2035 and 40 Gigawatt by 2050. To boost development, the government in 2021 and 2022 issued five tenders for six new wind farms with a total capacity of 4.2 GW, of which 750 MW is for floating wind farms. The goal is to conduct auctions for 2 gigawatts of new capacity annually starting in 2025, with 7 gigawatts already tendered thus far.

New & Upcoming Offshore Wind Power Plants:

  • Saint Nazaire Wind Farm is in the Loire-Atlantique region, owned and developed by Parc du Banc de Guérande with an investment of €2bn. Construction commenced in September 2019, and the facility was commissioned in November 2022, boasting an installed capacity of 480 megawatts, capable of powering 400,000 homes.
  • Saint Brieuc Offshore Wind Power Plant is in Brittany, owned and developed by Iberdrola’s affiliate Ailes Marines with an investment of €2.4bn. Construction began in 2021, and the project is set for commissioning in December 2023, featuring an installed capacity of 496 megawatts, capable of powering 835,000 homes.
  • Fécamp wind farm is in Seine-Maritime in the Normandy region, owned by EDF Renewables, Enbridge and WPD. Developed by Eolien Maritime France, the project involves a significant investment of €2 billion.
  • The project is configured with an installed capacity of 500 megawatts, meeting the energy requirements of 770,000 individuals. It is to be operational in 2023.
  • The Calvados wind farm is in the English Channel off the coast of Northern France. The project, owned by EDF Renewables, Enbridge, and WPD, was developed through a collaborative effort among these entities, involving a significant investment totalling €2 billion. Construction commenced in February 2021, and the project is slated for commissioning in 2024, featuring an installed capacity of 448 megawatts, serving the energy needs of 630,000 people.
  • The Dieppe-Le Tréport wind farm is off the coast of Dieppe and Le Tréport in Normandy. Developed by Éoliennes en Mer Dieppe Le Tréport (EMDT), a consortium comprising Engie, EDP Renewables, Sumitomo, and Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, the project involves a substantial investment of €2 billion. The project boasts an installed capacity of 496 megawatts, providing electricity to approximately 850,000 people. It is to be operational in 2025.

Top Operators:

  • Voltalia, headquartered in Paris, was founded in 2005. A power company that generates and sells electricity from diverse energy outlets, including wind, solar, and biomass. The company is additionally engaged in strategic planning, maintenance, and operational management of power plants.
  • EOLFI, headquartered in Paris, was founded in 2004. It is engaged in onshore and offshore wind power development, developing solar photovoltaic power plants, financing, and designing innovative renewable energy projects.
  • New World Wind, headquartered in Paris, was founded in 2010. It offers power generation solutions combining technology and design with wind and solar power to build products for use in urban and natural environments.
  • Neoen, headquartered in Paris, was founded in 2008. They develop, finance, and operate renewable energy sources. For instance, solar power plants, wind farms and create energy storage solutions.
  • CNR, headquartered in Lyon, was founded in 1933. Involved in diverse industries, they exclusively generate electricity from renewable sources, including hydro, wind, and solar energy. They also promote river transport and irrigate farmland.


  • The primary hurdle lies in the lengthy and intricate permitting process, impeding the rapid deployment of renewable energy resources nationwide. For instance, the first offshore wind farm took ten years to be operational.
  • The second issue is that the upfront costs of wind energy projects can be high, and securing financing can be a challenge, especially for smaller and independent developers.
  • The third problem is that developing offshore wind farms in France’s coastal waters presents additional technical, regulatory, and environmental challenges, including navigational issues, marine biodiversity concerns, and interconnection to the mainland.


Securing the 8th position worldwide in wind energy, France boasts an impressive capacity of 18.7 gigawatts, contributing to 7.8% of the total electricity generation. Ambitiously eyeing 40 gigawatts by 2050, recent tenders underscore its commitment to offshore wind. Projects like Saint Nazaire and Saint Brieuc showcase advancements, contributing to France’s net-zero 2050 goal. Leading operators, including Voltalia and Neoen, drive progress. Challenges like permitting complexities to financing hurdles persist, emphasizing the need for streamlined processes. Overcoming these obstacles is crucial for France to harness wind energy’s full potential, contributing significantly to a sustainable, low-carbon future.

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