France will invest EUR10bn ($13.62bn) in a 3 GW offshore wind farm and will choose candidates at the beginning of 2012.

Launching the tender, President Nicolas Sarkozy said 10 000 jobs could be created as part of the project, which will involve the construction of 600 offshore wind turbines, reported Reuters.

France aims to build wind power capacity of 25 GW by 2020, including 6 GW offshore, for an investment of EUR20bn to meet its goal of generating enough green energy to cover 23 per cent of demand.

A delay in the tender, which was initially expected in September, has led to anxiety among industrial companies. The tender will be organized by the French energy regulator with a start-up of the offshore farms by 2015.

Some 30 French projects of offshore wind farms are in the works for a capacity of 8 GW, which would exceed the target of 6 GW, although many of them were not very advanced.

Vestas, Germany’s Repower and France’s Alstom could figure among the bidders. French utilities such as EDF, GDF Suez or EDF Energies Nouvelles could submit proposals to operate the wind farms.

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