Europe approves French renewables support programmes

FRANCE: The European Commission's (EC) competition authority has approved four support schemes in France, including one that will allow 3GW of onshore wind capacity to be built.

EC competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager
EC competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager

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The EC found the schemes, one for wind, two for solar, and one that affects both technologies, would not contravene state aid rules. It could support an additional 7GW of renewable energy in France.

"The support schemes for medium and large-scale solar and for onshore wind power will help France in its transition to a low-carbon, environmentally sustainable energy supply," said EC competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

"The measures are completed by a technology-neutral tender, which will stimulate competition between solar and wind installations, and will help the EU reach its environmental objectives," she added.

The onshore wind scheme has a provisional budget of €188 million a year over 20 years. It could support 3GW of onshore wind capacity. The 3GW tender was launched in May

It will see medium- to large-scale onshore wind operators receive a premium on top of the market price for projects of more than six turbines, or with at least one turbine being rated above 3MW.

Another scheme would support up to 200MW of new onshore wind or solar capacity for indivudual projects below 18MW.

Each scheme also pays a bonus to local projects or local participation in projects, the EC explained.

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