EC approves funds for three renewable energy projects in France

The European Commission (EC) has selected three schemes under its state aid to provide fund for two solar and one hydropower energy projects in France.

These schemes will allow France to develop around 2,600MW of additional solar capacity and 60MW of additional hydropower capacity.

The two solar projects have a provisional budget of €439m per year.

The 60MW hydropower project has an annual provisional budget of €25m.

The EC fund will enable France to realise the commission’s renewable energy directive of establishing 23% of renewable energy sources in the country by 2020.

European Commission competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “These French initiatives will stimulate a greater use of renewable energy sources and provide legal certainty to the sector, while limiting the use of state support to the minimum.

“This is a very important balance for Europe in the pursuit of our environmental objectives.”

One of the proposed solar schemes, to be set up in France, will provide the option for payment of a preferential price (feed-in tariff) to operators of small-scale solar installations of less than 100KW in size, installed on domestic or commercial roofs.

The scheme is expected to generate around 1,500MW in additional solar capacity.

Another solar project will have a support scheme for operators of larger solar installations, those ranging between 100KW and 250KW and those above 250KW, with a feed-in tariff over 20 years.   

French authority has already selected beneficiaries of this scheme, which will develop around 1,100MW in additional solar capacity.

Additionally, the hydropower scheme, selected by the EC, will encourage up to 60ME of new hydropower plants to receive grants.