European Commission approves French support schemes for 2.6GW of solar

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he Commission endorsed two separate solar schemes, which have a provisional budget of €8.8 billion (US$9.4 billion) over 20 years. Credit: Neoen

The European Commission has approved French plans to develop 2.6GW of small and large-scale solar and 60MW of hydropower.

The Commission endorsed two separate solar schemes, which have a provisional budget of €8.8 billion (US$9.4 billion) over 20 years.

One scheme helps pay the feed-in tariff (FiT) subsidy to operators of small-scale solar installations (<100kW) on domestic and commercial rooftops. This will account for roughly 1.5GW installations.

The other support scheme is for operators of projects above 100kW with a 20-year FiT, following on from tenders for around 1.1GW of solar between July 2011 and March 2013.

France targets 23% renewables by 2020 under the Renewable Energy Directive.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, responsible for Competition, said: “These French initiatives will stimulate a greater use of renewable energy sources and provide legal certainty to the sector, while limiting the use of state support to the minimum. This is a very important balance for Europe in the pursuit of our environmental objectives”.

France has gone against the general contraction of European solar by announcing a 3GW solar tender as well as carrying out small-scale tenders.

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