Urgent renewables prescription needed for French recovery

France won’t meet its 2020 renewable energy target. Yet, the country’s recovery money will not support wind and solar. 

In a nutshell

  • Lagging behind on its renewable targets
  • Scarce support for renewable energy sources in the recovery plan


France is not complying with its own renewable energy targets. With only 17.2% of its energy consumption coming from renewable energy sources in 2019, France’s 2020 renewable energy target of 23% is out of reach. Public investments would be necessary to ramp up renewables in the country. According to a study from the Institute for climate economics (I4CE), public investments into the production of electricity from renewable sources should increase from €1.8 billion per year invested today to €2.5 billion per year in order to meet France’s climate targets.

Despite this huge finance need to close the gap in renewables investments, one would need a giant magnifying glass to find renewables in the French recovery plan. It includes scarce reference to traditional renewables, such as solar and wind, and it does not envision any public funding for them. It also fails to recognise the role of decentralised renewable energy production in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in empowering local communities with several advantageous local economic impacts.

Should it remain as it is, the Recovery plan will be a missed opportunity for France to speed up the development of renewables and catch up with Europe’s increasingly ambitious climate and energy targets.


I4CE (2020). Relance: comment financer l’Action climat

World Future Council (2021). Renewables in the post COVID-19 recovery package of France

Réseau Action Climat (2021). Un plan de relance vert pale

Observatoire Climat-Énergie (2021). Où en est la France?