* Long-delayed French offshore wind deals now look expensive
* Government wants to renegotiate or cancel wind projects
* Industry is up in arms, says will scare foreign investors
PARIS: The French government will decide on the future of its planned offshore wind parks in the coming days, renewable energy lobby SER said in a statement.
Last month, the French senate rejected a government proposal to renegotiate and possibly cancel projects to generate a combined 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind power on six sites on France’s west coast awarded in 2012 and 2014.
The government is still looking at ways to reduce the cost of the projects, which have been delayed for years by local resistance and whose prices are now out of line with the market.
The prime minister’s office and the environment ministry declined to comment.
France awarded tenders in 2012 for a combined offshore capacity of 2,000 MW, representing investment of about 7 billion euros, to two consortia, one led by EDF and one by Spanish utility Iberdrola.
It was followed in 2014 by a tender for 1,000 MW, worth some 4 billion euros, won by Engie.
But since then, prices for offshore wind power have more than halved and French energy regulator CRE has criticised the high cost of the planned subsidies, which it has estimated at at total of 40.7 billion euros.