France is at last to get an energy law after both houses of parliament settled their differences over its content and ratified the final version on June 23. The compromise was hammered out by a joint parliamentary commission, which upheld wind market amendments introduced by the Senate: a 12 MW ceiling for wind projects to be eligible for fixed premium purchase prices will be removed. Instead, local district authorities will decide what size limit, if any, is appropriate for any specific site. This will work through the mechanism of "wind power development zones" (ZDEs) identified by district authorities and approved by the regions. Wind plant built in a designated ZDE will be eligible for the preferential tariff. To allow time for ZDEs to be established, the draft law allows a two year transition period before the new rules come into effect. The last hurdle faced by the law is a visit to the Constitutional Council in early July.
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