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France ripe for wind, energy group says

Jan. 12, 2012 at 9:55 AM

PARIS, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A consortium of French companies said they believe 80 percent of the offshore wind farm market will have direct benefits to the domestic economy.

French energy company GDF Suez joined French construction company VINCI and equity company CDC Infrastructure in developing what they say are the best options for the renewable energy sector in France.

The companies said they believe 80 percent of the business generated by the wind sector will be developed in France, creating a new source of employment and economic stimulus for the European country.

"GDF Suez is a central figure in renewable energies," Gerard Mestrallet, chief executive officer of the company, said in a statement. "The group, (a) leader in wind energy in France, wish to bring with its partners all of its expertise as an integrated energy generation expert in order to develop this ambitious offshore wind project and contribute to the emergence of a French industrial chain."

The French energy company already has 1,000 megawatts of wind energy installed in France. It aims to reach 2,000 MW for onshore wind capacity by 2016.

The French government set of goal of 6,000 MW of installed wind capacity by 2020. As of last year, at least five offshore wind farms are planned for the French coast.

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