The scheme is expected to enable the country to develop additional 3.7GW in solar energy


EC approves French scheme for solar installations. (Credit: Sébastien Bertrand/Wikipedia.)

The European Commission (EC) has approved a €5.7bn scheme of the French government to support renewable electricity production from small solar installations on buildings.

The scheme is expected to enable the country to develop additional 3.7GW in solar energy.

The Commission evaluated the scheme under EU State aid rules, and especially the 2014 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy.

It found that the aid is required to further develop renewable energy generation and help France reach its environmental goals and renewable energy targets.

In addition, the aid will be granted without a tender process, as it concerns small solar installations below one megawatt.

EC stated that the positive environmental effects of the move will outweigh any possible negative effects in terms of distortions to competition.

EC competition policy in-charge, executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager said: “This €5.7bn support scheme will further help France in its transition to an environmentally sustainable energy supply.

“The measure, which will support production of renewable energy from small solar installations, complements another €30.5bn French scheme to support production of electricity from renewable energy sources that the Commission has approved last month.

“It will further stimulate the development of renewable energy sources, while ensuring a level playing field in the French energy market.”

The scheme is expected to help France reach its goal of producing 33% of its energy from renewable sources for 2030 and contribute to the EU climate neutrality objectives for 2050.

Expected to continue until 2026, the scheme is open to operators of small photovoltaic installations on buildings with a capacity of up to 500kW.

Under the scheme, installations are eligible to receive support in the form of a feed-in tariff for a period of twenty years.

Last month, the Commission has approved a €30.5bn French scheme to support the production of electricity from renewable energy sources.