France to slim offshore planning conditions

FRANCE: France could introduce a single permit for offshore wind power projects according to a draft law presented to the cabinet last week.

If passed, the law will allow the government to issue a decree authorising regional authorities to deliver a single permit for all marine renewable energy projects "situated in the public maritime domain, inter-array connections and associated grid connections".

The decree would also determine the conditions under which such authorisation could be given and the appeal period.

Wind power projects currently have to undergo a long and complex permitting process, including the right to occupy the maritime domain, environmental approval and construction permits. Grid connections are covered by a different set of regulations.

The law should be passed before next January and the decree issued within 18 months, according to the economy minister Arnaud Montebourg.

Last year the National Council for Industry recommended the creation of a single permitting body for offshore wind. President Hollande has also pledged his support for simplification.

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