On the implementation of renewable energy projects, the State's efforts seem to be paying off. The rate of refusal of projects in France has started to decline, Minister of Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher welcomed Wednesday, citing less than 20% refusals at the prefectural authorization stage. For a year, the minister has undertaken to mobilize prefects to activate the implementation of wind, solar or biogas projects blocked at state level, at the final stage of investigation.
There has been “an unprecedented mobilization of prefects and decentralized state services (...) It is starting to bear fruit with new dynamism on authorizations”, she said before the National Wind Conference organized each year by France Renouvelables. According to her, “the refusal rate has fallen from more than 30% to less than 20% in one year on projects which are the subject of an examination”.
Representatives of the sector, in particular France Renouvelables, consider administrative difficulties as one of the sources of blocking these energies. In onshore wind power, the managers of this organization regularly say they have also felt the negative impact on prefectural decisions of the declarations of President Emmanuel Macron, made at the beginning of 2020 then at the beginning of 2022 against an acceleration in this energy.
In Belfort in February 2022, the president advocated a slowdown, calling for its capacity to be doubled in 30 years, rather than in 10 years as was then planned. But against a backdrop of climate and energy imperatives, the government should ultimately propose maintaining the minimum rate of development of onshore wind power at 1.5 GW/year, within the framework of the future Multi-Annual Energy Program (PPE) , France's energy roadmap to 2035, expected soon.
To achieve this, he proposes “a new pact with local elected officials”, responsible for determining “acceleration zones” for renewable energies. “So that it is those who know the territory who decide on its development”, underlined Agnès Pannier-Runacher on Wednesday, adding that it is “they who are capable of building the acceptability of the projects among the inhabitants”. “The future of wind power in France will require more territorial equity,” she also warned. “Development cannot depend on a few territories when others are still very far from their development potential. To be very concrete, “the Somme is enough!”,” she insisted, citing this department which is now a champion of wind power.