- European Commission has approved a state aid scheme to support small scale solar installations on buildings in France
- The €5.7 billion scheme will lead to the addition of 3.7 GW of additional solar power capacity by 2026
- Beneficiary installations will not be selected under a competitive process as these will be under 500 kW capacity
- The commission said this will have an incentive effect as these projects won’t take place in the absence of public support
The European Commission (EC) has cleared a French aid scheme worth €5.7 billion to support renewable electricity generation from small scale solar installations on buildings. This amount is a provisional budget, and the scheme is scheduled to run until 2026 to develop an additional 3.7 GW solar power capacity.
It will be open to operators of small PV installations with a capacity of up to 500 kW. Such generators will be eligible to receive financial support, basis the installation size and business model, in the form of feed-in-tariff (FIT) over next 20 years. Installations can either inject all electricity into the grid or consume part of the generated electricity.
The aid won’t be tendered since the small solar installations to be supported under the scheme will be under 1 MW. Projects above 500 kW will get financial support under the €30.5 billion aid scheme approved by the EC in July 2021 which will enable the country to auction 34 GW new renewables capacity between 2021 and 2026 (see European Commission Clears €30.5 Billion French RE Scheme).
In its assessment of the scheme notified by the French government, the EC said it found the aid necessary to further develop France’s renewable energy capacity. “It also has an incentive effect, as the projects would not take place in the absence of public support,” stated the commission.
France aims to report the share of renewables in its total energy mix at 33% by 2030 to contribute to the European goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
“This €5.7 billion support scheme will further help France in its transition to an environmentally sustainable energy supply,” said Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy with the EC. “It will further stimulate the development of renewable energy sources, while ensuring a level playing field in the French energy market.