European Commission endorses three French renewable energy initiatives

The European Commission has given approval to three schemes to support electricity generation from small-scale onshore wind, solar, and sewage gas installations in France.

These schemes will enable France to develop more than 17GW of additional renewable energy.

The onshore wind scheme has an annual provisional budget of €1bn, while the solar scheme has €190m and sewage gas development has €58m.

These schemes will help France reach its 2020 target of generating 23% of energy needs from renewable sources. They also align with the Juncker Commission's priorities to back investments in renewable energy sources.

Comprising an onshore wind scheme that can support 15GW of additional capacity over the next decade, the approved schemes will receive a feed-in tariff over twenty years.

"These schemes will enable France to develop more than 17GW of additional renewable energy."

The solar support scheme is for small-scale photovoltaic installations in buildings (below 100KW). Remunerations vary as per the size of the installation and the business model. France intends to develop 2.1GW of solarpower under this measure.

Sewage gas installations have a potential of around 160MW and most of these are less than 1MW in size.

Installations of 500KW or more will secure support as a premium on top of the market price for two decades, while installations below 500KW will receive a feed-in tariff.

The commission reviewed all three schemes under EU state aid rules.