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France Will Miss 2020 Offshore Wind Capacity Target, EDF Says

France will fail to meet a target to develop 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020, according to Electricite de France SA, the country’s biggest developer of the renewable energy.

By the start of the next decade, France will be on the way to having 3,928 megawatts, according to EDF estimates in a report published today by the French Senate. Half of that capacity will begin producing power after 2020, the report quoted EDF as saying.

France’s offshore wind target is part of goals set by the country to raise renewable energy production to 23 percent of output by the next decade from 13 percent last year. EDF and partners including turbine maker Alstom SA in April won three of the four orders for offshore wind farms awarded in the first French government bidding round for the energy.

The projects will require about 7 billion euros ($8.6 billion) of investment for 1,920 megawatts off Normandy and Brittany. Iberdrola SA got the fourth contract.

EDF’s estimate of French offshore wind capacity in 2020 was contained a report published today on the costs of electricity production in France. One chapter submitted by the Cour des Comptes state auditor examined the expected costs of subsidies for renewable energy output, with EDF forecasting offshore wind power costs at 1.2 billion euros in 2020 compared with estimates of 2.6 billion euros by the French energy regulator and 2.3 billion euros by the energy ministry.

Subsidies for renewable power will increase 10-fold to as much as 7.5 billion euros by 2020 compared with 2010, the report said. A tax on household power bills known as the CSPE would have to double to pay for it.

The former government said another round of tenders for offshore wind farms would take place this year.

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