The PPE’s Objectives for Wind Energy
Guadeloupe has significant wind energy resources that has strong potential for development. The Regional Wind Energy Plan (Schéma Régional Eolien) estimates potential of an additional 70 MW to 110 MW. And yet, if repowering1 projects are excluded, the sector has barely grown since 2010. This situation changed in 2019 with the installation of the first wind farm on the island of Basse Terre (16 MW nameplate capacity), located in the city of Sainte-Rose.
Nevertheless, substantial constraints to growth in the sector remain. The main obstacles are:
- Changes in the regulatory environment, with greater restrictions
- Difficulties in situating turbines due to interference with weather radar, the primary tool used by Météo-France in Guadeloupe (located on the island of Grande Terre) for detecting precipitation intensity
- Lack of acceptance by local communities
- Lack of additional capacity allotted to variable renewable energy (30%), and competition with solar photovoltaics for the remaining MW of power
- Low energy prices, which makes financing scarce for projects to build storage capacity and overcome variable energy’s limitations
- Significant technical and financial burden of connecting areas with high potential (mostly located in northern part of Grande Terre and in Guadeloupe’s smaller islands of La Désirade, Marie-Galante and the Saintes islands), and high-demand areas around the cities of Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre
The regional government’s Multi-Year Energy Program (PPE) anticipates the installation of an additional 82 MW-worth of land-based wind farms with storage by 2023. A large proportion of this would be from repowering (with storage and fixed metering rates).
With 45 MW of wind energy projects authorized in 2016, the sector has experienced a boost. However, remaining potential can only be exploited if the technical and financial constraints cited above are eliminated before 2018 and under the PPE.
The national and regional governments will pursue policy to eliminate technical and financial obstacles identified in Guadeloupe, thereby encouraging the wind-energy sector to contribute substantively to the objectives set out in the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act (LTECV).
The Regional Wind Energy Plan
The regional wind energy plan, provided by the so-called Second Grenelle Law of July 12, 2010 (Article 90) serves as a supplement to the Regional Climate, Air and Energy plan (Schéma Régional Climat Air Energie, SRCAE), energy policy championed by the regional government of Guadeloupe. It was adopted by the plenary session of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe on October 9, 2012.
The public, private and non-profit sectors, as well as the public, were asked to contribute to this strategic document for Guadeloupe.
Following collective analysis of local potential and constraints, the resulting wind energy plan achieved the following:
- Identify the geographical areas suitable for the installation of wind turbines
- Determine qualitative objectives, that is, the conditions necessary to the development of wind energy projects
- Determine quantitative objectives in terms of how much power to generate by geographical area (see following map)
Among the identified obstacles, the regional plan emphasized the need to eliminate constraints related to the weather radar currently located in the town of Le Moule. The weather radar in fact blocks all potential for wind-energy development across almost all of Grande Terre, without which objectives in the regional energy plan would be impossible to meet.
Finally, in addition to the identification of more suitable areas for wind energy development, two documents were drafted: a set of recommendations for prospective project sponsors to provide better guidance and ensure better local acceptance; and an analysis table for the photovoltaic/wind energy commission tasked with evaluating potential projects in Guadeloupe.
All documents related to the regional plan for wind turbines can be downloaded below (in French only):
 Upgrades to wind turbines is known as repowering.