In the midst of the energy crisis and under the pressure of the climate emergency, this text aims to make France catch up on its great delay in this area.
The vote was won by 300 votes "for" and 13 votes "against" (10 LR senators - including the president of the Bruno Retailleau group - and three centrists).
The bill intends to meet the objective set by President Emmanuel Macron for 2050 to multiply by ten the production capacity of solar energy to exceed 100 GW and to deploy 50 wind farms at sea to reach 40 GW.
"The challenge of this text is to remove all the locks that delay the deployment of projects, neither more nor less", declared the Minister for Energy Transition, who fought hard to secure support in the oppositions on the right like to the left.
With sometimes surprising results: the text which was the subject of a compromise between deputies and senators was voted by the vast majority of LR senators, while the deputies of the same party had voted against.
In both chambers, as in the joint joint committee, the fiercest negotiations focused in particular on the planning of areas for accelerating the deployment of renewable energies, with the approval of the municipalities, and on possible exclusion zones.
Local elected officials "propose and have the last word on zoning", underlined Agnès Pannier-Runacher. And exclusion zones will only be possible for territories that validate acceleration zones, she recalled.
But ecologist Ronan Dantec says he fears a "blocking and slowing" device. His group, like the predominantly communist CRCE group, abstained.
The Renewable Energies Union (SER) indicated that it “expected a very strong mobilization of services from the State”. Engie, for its part, welcomed the fact that the text "provides in particular for shorter instruction and development times in the dedicated acceleration zones".
On the other hand, NGOs and players in the renewables sector criticize a "gas factory".
"If the text is rather satisfactory on offshore wind power, it remains too late and limited on solar power, and above all very insufficient on onshore wind power", considers Greenpeace France, while the WWF calls on mayors, "at the heart of the system", to mobilize "to give a real boost".
Another sensitive subject, the supervision of agrivoltaism, combining agriculture and energy production.
"With this law, agrivoltaisme becomes a full-fledged sector of solar energy", welcomed France Agrivoltaisme which estimates that it could represent "nearly 60% of the volumes of photovoltaic panels deployed by 2050".
At the end of 2022, France had approximately 66 GW of total renewable electricity capacity, divided between 40% for hydraulics (dams), 31% for onshore wind power and 24% for photovoltaics.
And the country should not achieve the objectives it had set for the deployment of electric renewable energies over the period 2019-2023, according to a study published at the end of January.
For onshore wind power, the official target of 24,1 GW of installed capacity set for the end of 2023 "will not be achieved", the country barely reaching 20 GW at the end of September 2022, notes the annual Observ'ER barometer.
On the photovoltaic side, despite an increased growth rate since 2021 and a "partially confirmed recovery in 2022 (...), the sector is still not on the right trajectory", adds the observatory which is based, among other , on data from Enedis and EDF.
This text is only the first part of a triptych on energy. In the spring, the executive intends to defend in the National Assembly the bill promoting the construction of new nuclear reactors, voted easily at first reading in the Senate on January 24.
Then the Parliament will decide, at best this summer, on the energy future of France, with the multiannual programming law, fixing the share of each energy, including nuclear.