Measures to promote the implementation of new wind farms

A circular relating to territorial planning and the investigation of wind power projects was published by the French Government on 26th May 2021. In particular, this circular instructs regional prefects to define a map of zones suitable for the development of wind power in order to ensure that the objectives of the Multiannual Energy Programme (PPE) are met and thus, to ensure the expansion of wind farms. The primary objective of the PPE is to install in France 33.2 GW onshore wind energy in 2028 (compared to 15 GW in 2018).

Specifically, and to distribute wind turbines more evenly in France, a plan to release areas in radar exclusion zones was published on 28th May 2021. This measure, based on a joint consultation between the Ministries of Ecological Transition and the Armed Forces, aims to release an area of 16,800 km² for wind power projects.

Further to the measures announced during the Ecological Defence Council held on 8th December 2020, the official list of VORs (abbreviation of "VHF Omnidirectional Range") to be removed has been unveiled: restrictions associated with the need for air safety, particularly in military matters, are waived in certain areas of French territory.

The list dissociates 12 VORs that will be removed by 31st December 2022 from 12 other VORs that will be removed by 31st December 2024. The PACA and Ile-de-France regions are the most concerned by this measure, respectively accounting for 4 VORs to be removed.

This measure facilitates the development of new wind farms in the areas concerned, as well as repowering, given the removal of restrictions on the location and height of obstacles. However, it should be noted that certain restrictions may remain within a radius of 2km around areas equipped with a radio navigation aid system of the DME type (Ultra High Frequency Remote Measuring Equipment) co-located with the removed VOR systems.

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