The European Commission has approved three French schemes that will support the addition of over 17GW of renewable energy capacity.

The first of the three schemes will support the installation of 15GW of small-scale onshore wind projects in the next 10 years.

It has a provionalised budget of €1bn per year and support will come in the form of a premium on top of the market price.

A project should include less than six turbines to be eligible, with an individual limit of 3MW per machine.

The second scheme has an annual provisional budget of €190m.

It will award a feed-in tariff (FiT) over a 20-year period to small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in buildings, with capacities below 100 kW. France expects to develop 2.1 GW of solar power under this scheme.

The third one is a sewage gas support scheme with a provisional budget of €58m per year. 

With these incentives, France plans to achieve its 2020 target of producing at least 23% of its energy through renewable resources.

The European Commission stated that the plans are fully in line with the priorities of Juncker Commission's to support investments in renewable energy sources that ensure EU industry will be in a leading position in low-carbon technologies and also create jobs in the process.

The European Commission stated: “The Commission assessed all three schemes under EU state aid rules, in particular its 2014 Guidelines for energy and environmental state aid, which ensure that the use of public funds is limited and there is no overcompensation.

“It concluded that the measures will boost the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources, in line with the environmental objectives of the EU, while the distortion of competition caused by the state support is minimised.”

Image: France receives EU’s nod to provide incentives for small-scale renewable energy programs. Photo: Courtesy of Christophe GRASSEAU/