PARIS, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated on Thursday the country's first offshore wind farm and called for a "massive acceleration" of renewable energy projects.
The wind farm, located off the west coast of France in Saint-Nazaire, will be able to produce at least 500 megawatts, representing "five percent of what we are missing right now for the coldest days," Macron said.
However, the time it takes to get an offshore wind farm into service is over 10 years on average, Macron said, emphasizing that the country must simplify the procedures and be quicker in the future to boost employment.
"France will massively increase its electricity needs by 40 percent by 2050," Macron said.
"A few months ago, we adopted a national energy strategy, and there have never been so many concerns about energy. Times have changed," he said. "We are in a competitive and open world. If we go slower than our neighbors, then we will have more problems."
While going quicker in enabling renewable energy projects, the aim is also to "protect the beauty of the landscape," he said.
Macron said he wanted France to have about 50 offshore wind farms in service by 2050. As part of its renewable energy plan, France also aims to multiply its solar power plants by 10 and construct six new nuclear reactors before 2035. ■