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Commission approves EUR 200 million in public support for renewable energy for self-suppliers of electricity in France

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a measure to support electricity production from renewable sources for self-consumption in France until 2020. The measure will further the EU's energy and climate objectives without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.

The measure is designed to encourage the production of renewable electricity by companies and individuals for their own use (self-consumption), specifically for instances where only a limited part of the electricity they produce is sold to the grid.

The scheme has an indicative budget of EUR 200 million and is financed from the French State budget. It will support the deployment of 490 MW of additional generation capacity and is available for small installations with a capacity between 100 and 500 kW. The beneficiaries will be selected through tenders organised until 2020 and in which all renewable energy technologies can participate.

The selected installations will receive support in the form of a premium on top of the market price (so-called “complément de rémunération”). The premium will be granted for a period of 10 years.

The Commission assessed the scheme under EU State aid rules, in particular the Commission’s 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy. The Commission found that the French scheme will encourage the development of renewable energies for self-consumption and avoid overcompensation for the beneficiaries of the public support, in line with the requirements of the Guidelines.

On this basis, the Commission concluded that the measure will help France boost the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources to meet its climate targets, in line with the environmental objectives of the EU, while any distortion of competition caused by the state support is minimised.

This scheme will stimulate competition between renewable energy sources for self-suppliers and will further increase the share of renewables in France’s energy mix. The technology-neutral tenders will contribute to France’s transition to low carbon and environmentally sustainable energy supply, in line with the EU environmental objectives and our state aid rules, said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy in a statement.

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