France Allocates 10 Billion for Renewable Energy Projects

Kevin Smead - Renewables - Aug 04, 2014 

The bill that could set France on the path to renewable energy has passed the cabinet and will make its way to Parliament this fall.

Energy Minister Segolene Royal said that France will mobilize about €10 billion ($13.41 billion) for a package of tax breaks, low-cost loans, and bonuses to boost investment in renewable energy and cut the country's oil and gas bill.

Currently, France is heavily reliant on nuclear energy—the most in the world—and it’s Royal’s task to reduce the country’s dependence. Currently, nuclear accounts for 75 percent of its electricity, though the goal is to reduce it to 50 percent.

Some key points of the bill are:

- Cut greenhouse gas emissions 75 percent by 2050

- More than double the percentage of renewable energy used in the overall energy scheme from 12 to 32

- Significant grants and incentives for drivers to switch to zero-emission vehicles

- 30 percent rebate on the cost of installing a home charging station for electric vehicle owners

- A deduction of 30 percent of the cost of thermal insulation for homeowners from their taxable income, up to a maximum of €16,000 per couple

- Establishment of a €1.5 billion fund to subsidize "zero-waste" and "energy-plus" territories—communities or buildings producing more energy than they import from external source

State-backed lender Caisse des Depots et Consignations was instructed to set aside €5 billion to support the bill.

Royal hailed the bill at the most ambitious clean energy transition in all of the European Union.

"What is important is to use our imagination," she said. "What we have done is financial engineering."