The Battle for France’s Green Future

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By Peter Sommer (Kalte Sonne)

Anyone who has ever been to Brittany in France will know the unique character of the Breton coast.

This coast may be facing serious changes, as offshore wind farms are being planned in France. Die Welt deals with the topic and the controversies surrounding it in great detail.

“You don’t want to see them in the sea either. The fiercest headwinds are in Erquy, a small Breton fishing village of the Côtes d’Amor, 3900 inhabitants in winter, 20,000 in summer, located in one of the most beautiful bays of Brittany, the Baie de Saint-Brieuc. There, the Spanish energy company Iberdrola is building a 100 square kilometre park with 62 wind turbines, just 16 kilometres from the coast.”

The conditions off the coast of Brittany are challenging. There is a huge tidal range there. Visitors to Brittany know this when you can suddenly see huge rocks completely free at low tide, as you can see well on the shell and algae growth. In Brittany there is not for nothing the tidal power plant La Rance, which makes use of the tidal range.

“Brittany hardly produces any electricity. The wind farm will supply more than 800,000 households, he calculates.

However, for a usurious price. For 155 euros, the state electricity company EDF will take the megawatt hour, three times as much as the French average price. Ailes Marines justifies this with the “characteristics of the site, one of the most complex in the world”. In 20 years of operation, the Iberdrola will bring 4.7 billion in revenue, calculates the online research portal “Mediapart”. With around 2.3 billion construction costs, this is a safe business of 2.4 billion on the backs of taxpayers. “Mediapart” calls this a looting: “They privatize the sea.”