France to introduce top-up payments for large projects

FRANCE: A top-up payment will be introduced for large renewable energy projects in France from 1 January 2016, energy minister Ségolène Royal has confirmed.

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In broad terms, small renewables plant will still be eligible for the guaranteed premium purchase price, while larger projects will sell on the open market and receive a top-up payment to compensate for the difference and ensure a fair return on investment.

Larger projects must be tendered.

However, onshore wind farms will not be affected in the first instance because the current support mechanism was approved by the European Commission last March, before the new guidelines on state aid were issued.

It can remain in force for up to ten years, the minister said. However, during this time the government and industry will discuss how best to manage the transition to a market-based mechanism.

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