The European Commission under EU rules on state aid, has approved public measures to support the production of electricity from renewable sources for self-consumption in France until 2020. The measure will boost EU’s energy and climate objectives without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
The Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy, Margrethe Vestager, said: “This aid plan will stimulate competition between renewable energy sources for self-consumers and further increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix of France. Clean technology tenders will contribute to a low carbon consumption transition and an environmentally sustainable energy supply for France, in line with EU objectives and our state aid rules. ”
The measure is designed to encourage the production of renewable electricity by both companies and individuals for self-consumption, specifically for cases in which only a limited part of the electricity they produce is sold to the grid.
The aid program has an initial budget of 200 million euros, is financed by the French State budget, and will support the implementation of 490 MW of additional generation capacity. The aid is available for small installations with a capacity between 100kW and 500kW. The beneficiaries will be selected through tenders organized until 2020 and in which all renewable energy technologies can participate.
The selected facilities will receive financial support in the form of a premium above the market price (called the compensation supplement, “complément de rémunération”). The premium will be granted for a period of ten years.
The Commission assessed the scheme based on the EU rules on State aid, specifically the Commission Guidelines on state aid for environmental and energy protection of 2014. The findings show that the approved program will encourage the development of renewable energies for self-consumption in France and will prevent excessive compensation for the beneficiaries of public support, in accordance with the requirements of the guidelines.
On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure will help France to increase the proportion of electricity produced from renewable sources to meet its climate objectives, in line with the EU environmental objectives, and will reduce any distortion of competition caused by state support.