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Wind power in France - Statistics & Facts

Wind energy comes from the process during which the wind generates mechanical power. Kinetic energy from wind turbines is converted into electricity by a generator. Around the world, there are two main groups of wind turbines. On one hand we have horizontal-axis type like a traditional windmill used for pumping water; while on the other hand we have the vertical-axis type which has an eggbeater-style. Most modern turbines use the horizontal-axis turbine varieties.
In 2021, almost 73 percent of the French population had a positive image of wind energy.

In France, wind power represented the third energy source for electricity with almost 40 TWh generated in 2020, placing France among the most important producers in Europe. Overall, the wind industry has experienced the same rise as global renewable energy production, with a constant growth. Indeed, France’s wind energy production capacity has increased by more than five times between 2008 and 2020, from 3,403 megawatts up to more than 17,000 megawatts.

There are significant geographic disparities in wind electricity production in France. Two regions were producing almost half of national production in 2021. Hauts-de-France and the Great Eastern region connected 5.2 GW and 4.1 GW to the French electric grid, respectively.

Wind power installations can function both onshore and offshore. The French onshore wind energy capacity has been estimated by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to be 17,380 MW in 2020. The offshore wind power capacity amounted to only 2 MW.

Among the wind farm constructors; the Danish leader in wind turbine manufacturing,Vestas, owned farms with a total installed wind capacity of almost 6 GW in France in 2021.

The wind market, however, is dominated by French companies. Engie Group (and the Companie Nationale du Rhône) and EDF Energies Nouvelles generated 2.7 and 1.7 GW respectively. Specialized companies such as Boralex also owned a share of the market with almost one gigawatts.

The growing wind industry is a formidable job generator. In 2020, the sector employed 22,500 persons and almost a quarter of them were employed in the Greater Paris area.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 24 most important statistics relating to "Wind power in France ".

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