(Bloomberg) -- The boss of one of France’s biggest energy companies has a unique pitch to convince the nation’s citizens to embrace the construction of wind turbines: the giant spinning machines are poetic. 

It’s a perspective that’s at odds with a French society which has been slower to expand wind power than its European neighbors. France is still a leader in low-carbon power in the European Union thanks to its massive fleet of nuclear plants. But there’s an effort to add more renewables in the years to come.

“I find wind turbines quite nice and poetic,” Catherine MacGregor, chief executive officer of Engie SA, said at a conference in London. “A lot of people in France don’t like them.”

France has been under pressure to enshrine in law an EU goal to double the share of renewables in its energy mix by 2030. But the country has resisted as it pushes to build more atomic reactors, which have become the backbone of Europe’s power grid.

MacGregor said there’s “no choice” but to develop renewables because they can be built quickly.

While other countries in Europe have been successful in recent years in cutting red tape to speed up the development of wind farms, France has lagged behind. A majority of onshore wind farm projects are contested in the courts, which can add years to development time. 

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