EU approves €600m French public funding for solar energy

The initiative will support the deployment of 350MW of capacity

The European Commission has given the green light for France to use €600 million (£534m) worth of public funds for solar energy installations.

The initiative will support the deployment of 350MW of capacity, with projects ranging from 100kW to 5MW.

The funding – provided in the form of a Feed-in Tariff, i.e. a guaranteed price, or a premium on top of the market price for a period of 20 years – will be awarded through auctions organised until 2019.

The Commission said the initiative will further support the EU’s energy and climate objectives without distorting competition.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy added: “Our future will be powered by renewable energy. The French initiative the Commission is approving today will encourage investment in innovative solar installations. It will contribute to France’s transition to low carbon, environmentally sustainable energy supply, in line with the EU environmental objectives and our state aid rules.”

The European Court of Justice recently suspended the UK’s Capacity Market, which means the UK cannot issue payments to energy companies or hold any auctions until it receives clearance to restart the scheme.

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