The European Union has approved a French plan worth 30.5 billion euros to encourage the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, saying that it “complies with the rules of state aid in the European Union.
France had reported a project to support operators of solar, wind turbine and hydroelectric facilities by announcing tenders.
Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for competition, said the assistance would encourage the development of major renewable energy sources and support the transition towards environmentally sustainable energy, in line with the Green Pact goals, which are a priority for the European Union.
Tenders for renewable energy operators totaling 34 gigawatts will be issued between this year and 2026. The subsidy takes the form of a premium to the price of electricity. The total budget for this measure is estimated at 30.5 billion euros.
The assistance can be paid for a maximum period of 20 years after connection to the new equipment network.
Vestager considered that “selecting the beneficiaries through a competitive process will ensure that taxpayers’ money is used more cost-effectively, while maintaining competition in the French energy market.”
Brussels sees the aid as having a “catalytic effect”, and “the projects will not be implemented without public (sector) support”. The Commission explained that this assistance is “proportionate and limited to the minimum necessary.”
The European Commission considers that “the positive effects of this measure, particularly on the environment, outweigh the possible negative aspects in terms of distorting competition.”
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