France goals set out for renewable energy generation from offshore sources


Shell PLC and their consortium partners Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) and China's CGN have dropped their plans to construct a pilot floating wind farm near Brittany, France. This was due to the steep rising in costs resulting from inflation, power supply problems, and global energy shortages. The project was projected to require an investment of approximately EUR 300 million. The demonstration site off Belle-Ile island in western France would originally have comprised of three turbines installed on floating platforms driven by four General Electric 6-MW offshore machines. However, due to the utilization of larger MHI Vestas 9.5-MW turbines, the number of units were reduced accordingly.

This effort was first initiated by Eolfi SA, CGN Europe Energy, and the Banque des Territoires of CDC when Shell acquired Eolfi in 2019. The French government has a stated goal to reach 40 GW of offshore wind energy production by 2050 and declared their first commercial floating offshore wind farm to be based off Belle-Ile-en-Mer island with an eventual capacity of 250 MW, which will be chosen through a bidding process. This endeavor was considered a key part in meeting that target; however, due to financial and supply chain complications it is no longer being pursued.

The cancellation of the project marks yet another setback for France's ambition to reach its lofty goals set out for renewable energy generation from offshore sources. Shell and their cohort will have to look for other solutions if they wish to truly contribute to the country's energy future.​