It has been revealed this week that the European Commission has approved France’s request to develop three separate schemes that are intended to support the development of more than 17 gigawatts worth of new renewable energy capacity.
The European Commission, the legislative body of the European Union, on May 5 approved three separate schemes for the development of small-scale onshore wind, solar, and sewage gas installations in France, which would allow France to develop more than 17 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity.
The onshore wind scheme will have a provisional budget of €1 billion per year, and will grant support for 15 GW of new capacity over the next 10 years. The projects are intended to be small projects, taking the form of what is called a premium on top of the market price, or in French, complement de remunération, providing support to operators of small-scale onshore installations of less than 6 wind turbines that themselves are no more than 3 megawatts (MW) in capacity.
The second scheme is a solar support scheme for small-scale solar PV installations (below 100 kilowatt) on building roofs. Such installations will receive a feed-in tariff over 20 years, with remuneration varying according to the respective size of the installation and the business model in use — be it injecting all the electricity back into the grid or consuming part of the electricity. The scheme is expected to create up to 2.1 GW of small-scale solar power.
The third and final scheme which was granted approval was a sewage gas support scheme, which could deliver 160 MW of projects, most of which are less than 1 MW in size. The scheme will be open to larger installations, the expectation is nevertheless that support will be provided primarily to small-scale installations. Installations of 500 kilowatts or more will receive support in the form of a premium on top of the market price over 20 years, whereas installations below 500 kilowatts will receive a feed-in tariff over 20 years.