EU approves French aid for 17GW of renewables

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EU approves French aid for 17GW of renewables

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The EU has approved three French state aid schemes to produce more than 17GW of renewable energy.

The measures to support the small scale onshore wind, solar and sewage gas installations were judged to make a worthwhile contribution to France’s 2020 target of producing 23% of its energy needs from renewables.

The €1 billion-a-year (£850m) onshore wind scheme will grant support to 15GW of new capacity over the next 10 years, taking the form of a premium on top of the market price to operators of installations with less than six turbines.

A support scheme for sub-100kW solar installations in buildings will provide a feed-in tariff over 20 years.

The remuneration varies according to the size of the installation and how much electricity is fed back into the grid.

France expects to develop 2.1GW of solar power under this measure with a budget of €190 million (£161.2m) per year.

The country estimate 160MW is the remaining potential of sewage gas installations in France that can be supported.

It will support installations of 500kW or more with a premium on top of the market price, whereas installations below 500kW will receive a feed in tariff. The budget will be €58 million (£49.2m).

The EU judged the projects were in line with its environmental objectives and said the distortion of competition caused by the state support would be minimal.

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