Commission authorizes a French scheme of 5.7bn intended to support the production of electricity by small solar installations on buildings

 

The European Commission has cleared, under EU state aid rules, a €5.7 billion French aid scheme to support the production of renewable electricity by small solar installations installed on the roofs of buildings.

This measure will help France achieve the goal it has set of producing, by 2030, the equivalent of 33% of its energy needs from renewable sources, and will help achieve the goal of European climate neutrality by 2050, without unduly distorting competition.

This scheme, the estimated budget of which is estimated at around €5.7bn and which will run until 2026, will be available to operators of small photovoltaic installations installed on buildings, with a maximum capacity of 500 kW. These installations will be able to benefit from aid in the form of feed-in tariffs (i.e. a guaranteed price for the electricity produced) for 20 years.

Thanks to this measure, France aims to increase solar renewable energy capacity by an additional 3,700 MW.

The Commission has assessed the scheme against EU state aid rules, in particular the 2014 guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy. The Commission has found that the aid is necessary to further increase the production of renewable energy and to enable France to meet its environmental and renewable energy targets. The scheme will also have an incentive effect, by making it possible to carry out projects that would not have been possible in the absence of public aid.

Finally, the Commission concluded that the positive effects of the measures, in particular on the environment, outweigh any negative effects in terms of distortion of competition.

On the basis of these elements, the Commission concluded that the French scheme complies with EU state aid rules.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for Competition Policy, said: “This € 5.7 billion aid scheme will help France in its transition to an environmentally sustainable energy supply. This measure, intended to support the production of renewable energy from small solar installations, complements another French aid scheme for the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, which the Commission authorized last month for an amount of €30.5 billion. The measure strengthens support for the development of renewable energy sources, while ensuring equal conditions of competition on the French energy market."

A press release is available online