In Saint-Nazaire, Emmanuel Macron promises to accelerate the deployment of nuclear and renewables

DECRYPTION - The president, who inaugurated the first French offshore wind farm, wants to go “twice as fast”.

From our special correspondent in Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique)

Emmanuel Macron climbed the steps of the Palace. Like its Elysian version, this Palace - that's its name - welcomes a president and his delegation on board. But it splits the waters at 18 knots off Le Croisic and La Baule (Loire-Atlantique). It even has a lifeline in case of an emergency. From the upper deck of the boat, this Thursday, September 22, the Head of State inaugurates a "great workemerged from the waters after ten years of work: the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farmthe first to open in France, fully operational by the end of the year.

Around him, 80 propellers spin in the sky, 180 meters above the sea.A human and industrial adventure», Welcomes the President of the Republic, surrounded by his ministers Agnès Pannier-Runacher (Energy Transition), in yellow raincoat, Christophe Béchu (Ecological Transition), Hervé Berville (Sea) and Sarah El Haïry (Youth). Despite the disputesthe Head of State is so proud of this project that he wants to multiply it: it aimsfifty» of offshore wind farms by 2050, for a capacity of 40 gigawatts. This is the meaning of hisplanningenergetic, which he came to remind around fifty officials on board. With one priority: that France gotwice as fastin the deployment of renewable energies. And, "at the same time», «much fasterin the nuclear sector.

In the midst of soaring energy prices, it is the only solution, according to him, to lower prices and meet electricity needs. They will increase by 40% by 2050, he warned, back on land, in a speech delivered in the gardens of the sub-prefecture of Saint-Nazaire. A way to better boast about its “strategy" of "energy mix», presented in Belfort in February and «validatedaccording to him since the war in Ukraine. "The whole ENR (renewable energies) does not work, all nuclear does not work“, insisted the President of the Republic. Returning from New York, where he vigorously attacked the Russia at the UN platform on Tuesday, he insists: his plan must allow France to strengthen its "sovereignty". But also hissobriety» and the purchasing power of the French. The Head of State says he is in a hurry: he is annoyed to see renewable energy projects taking a long time to see the light of day - in ten years on average for offshore sites, seven years for onshore wind power.

"It's a necessary evil»

Brakes must be lifted via a bill expected Monday, September 26 in the Council of Ministers. In particular, this involves limiting the maximum time limits for appeals against construction sites. So much for the pledges given to the left and environmentalists. Another text concerning nuclear power must be prepared, while the Head of State announced in February the order for six EPR reactors new generation. So much for the signals launched on the right.
Nuclear, solar, wind: Emmanuel Macron takes it all, in the name of "diversification". Including onshore wind power, targeted by strong opposition. The Head of State asks to "coordinate betterso as not to antagonize the populations concerned. But "we will have to do wind power on land“, he warned, calling for “open the game". That is to say, to better distribute in France a technology that he considers too "concentratedin certain areas.

This scenario provokes strong protests on the right and at the National Rally (RN). But around Emmanuel Macron, Thursday, no demonstrations of hostility. Elected as industrialists boasted of their "prideto inaugurate a first wind farm at sea, soon capable of supplying 700,000 people.
"It's a necessary evil», Estimates the mayor (Les Républicains, LR) of La Baule, Franck Laborer. "It partly disfigures our coasts, but here we are the only metropolitan area with energy undercapacity: we are repairing the mistakes of the past." Behalf "acceptability” projects with the populations, the deputy (Democratic Movement, MoDem) Sandrine Josso even sees things in a big way: “Why not imagine sound and light performances at night, thanks to the wind farm? It would be a great show!»

Emmanuel Macron, for his part, promised to better distribute the economic benefits of renewable projects. An attempt to relax his opponents. In his energy project is "the heart of the responses to the challenges of the moment“, he argued. Although he agrees with the difficulty of the task, shortly after his visit to the offshore park: "It's high seas.»

SEE ALSO - Are you in favor of the future law to speed up and simplify the installation of wind turbines?

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