* Target for 6 GW in offshore wind power capacity by 2020
* 2nd tender to come on stream from 2021
* Sector lobbyists say will be hard to find suitable sites
SAINT-NAZAIRE (France), Jan 21 France is
considering the possibility of launching a third tender for
offshore wind power capacity, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
said on Monday as the country seeks to become a leading player
in the industry.
A French industry source told Reuters last September that a
third tender would be launched after this year's so-called
energy transition debate.
"We are thinking about a third tender," Ayrault told
journalists during a trip in Saint-Nazaire (western France) that
focused on green growth.
Earlier this month, the French government launched a second
tender to build 1,000 megawatts in offshore wind capacity,
equivalent to that of an average-size nuclear reactor.
France has set a target to build 6,000 megawatts in offshore
wind capacity as part of a wider target for renewable energy to
cover 23 percent of its energy consumption by 2020.
But sector professionals say France will now miss the target
because it has taken too long to launch tenders.
"Capacity for the second tender will only come on stream
from 2021," Nicolas Wolff, head of the wind power lobby FEE,
said in an interview.
"There is an urgent need for the government to launch this
tender to catch up on lost time and give some visibility to the
sector," he said, adding that the hard part would be to find
The first tender launched in 2012 was for 2,000 MW. French
state-owned utility EDF and Alstom came out
as winners of three, and Spain's Iberdrola along with
French nuclear reactor maker Areva took the fourth.
(Reporting By Guillaume Frouin and Muriel Boselli; editing by