Bill on renewable energies: what changes to expect?

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Amandine Martinet - Construction21


3789 France - Last modified by the author on 14/12/2022 - 16:58
Bill on renewable energies: what changes to expect?

On Monday, December 5, a text was discussed with the deputies of the National Assembly which could give new impetus to the production of solar and wind power on French territory. Here are the main measures it includes.

Going "twice as fast" on the development of renewable energies in France: this is the objective pursued by Emmanuel Macron with the bill currently under debate in the hemicycle of the Assembly. Solar energy and wind power are the two resources that the Head of State wishes to see proliferate in France in the years to come, to catch up with the country's delay in this area.

A contrasting situation for ambitious objectives

According to figures from the Ministry of Energy Transition dated September 2022, renewable energy production represented 345 TWh in 2021, or 19% of the country's total energy production . These data have indeed been constantly changing for the past few years (+ 5 points for ten years), but remain insufficient with regard to the objectives set within the framework of the energy-climate law adopted in 2019 by the government – 33% of renewable energies in 2030 – and already below the 23% cap that was forecast for 2020.

At European level, the ambitions are even greater. Parliament voted in September for a share of renewable energies equal to 45% by 2030.

Finally, it is indeed a global trend that is emerging. According to the latest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) , published a few days ago, solar and wind power will become the main sources of electricity in the world by 2025. More broadly, global renewable energy capacity is expected to double over the next five years . The IEA links this data to the Covid crisis, which would have prompted governments to put their foot on the accelerator. Would the tour of France have come with this new bill?

The content of a text with a still uncertain future

On the program of the renewable energy law, two weeks of discussions in the hemicycle from Monday, December 5, for more than 2,500 amendments. If the text was adopted on November 5 by the Senate , this new round may be less easy for the executive.
Here are several of the measures that aim to change the French energy landscape:

  • Impose the progressive installation of photovoltaic panel roofs (or other process based on renewable energy) on car parks with more than 80 spaces , on at least half of their surface
  • Set up a "mediator" responsible for easing any tensions around projects related to the deployment of renewable energies in the territory
  • Also set up an observatory for renewable energies and biodiversity
  • Allow municipalities to define the geographical areas in which they authorize the installation of wind turbines
  • Create "acceleration zones" for the installation of renewable energy production facilities" and simplify procedures to reduce installation times for wind and solar farms, in particular
  • Establish renewable energies as "of major public interest" , which constitutes one of the existing derogations from the ban on the destruction of speciesprotected
  • Allow a reduction on the energy bill of individuals agreeing to live near wind turbines

Actions which aim to achieve the quantitative objective announced by Emmanuel Macron for France: multiply by ten the production capacity of solar energy with the aim of exceeding 100 gigawatts (GW), and deploy 50 wind farms in sea to reach 40 GW by 2050.

But all these proposals are not unanimous. If the senators Les Républicains adopted the bill by a majority last November, the deputies of the same party could block in the name of certain demands not included in the text, such as the establishment of a "right of veto" of the mayors against wind and solar projects in their municipality. The Rassemblement National camp maintains its positions against the deployment of wind power in France. There is therefore no doubt that he will not be supporting the executive for this bill.

Finally, only the left – at least in part – could be an ally of the government: several deputies said they were ready to discuss and accept the text, if efforts are also made on the side of the executive. The environmental deputies, they would rather move towards an abstention, as Sandrine Rousseau indicated to BFMTV on Tuesday, November 6. In particular, the fear of seeing the installation of wind turbines and solar panels undermine biodiversity in areas such as agricultural fields. Within the NUPES, other left-wing parties could also abstain, such as the deputies La France Insoumise – until then rather subscribed to the opposition.

According to the regulations in force, the government only has one more recourse to 49.3 until next summer. He would therefore not plan to use it for a forced passage of this text. To be continued.

Article written by Amandine Martinet for Construction21

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