"The new decree is essential to maintain the momentum enjoyed by the sector over the last two years," said Olivier Perot, president of the French Wind Energy Association.
The decree follows a ruling by the European Commission (EC) that France's support mechanism for onshore wind contravened guidelines on state aid and must be replaced with a market mechanism with effect from 1 January 2016.
The industry, which was expecting the new system to come into force in 2019, was taken by surprise.
In order to soften the blow, the government decided that producers applying for a PPA in 2016 under the new top-up mechanism — similar to contracts for difference — will receive remuneration equal to the old tariff.
A further decree will be issued in January defining the terms for 2017 and beyond.