The European Commission has found that support for six offshore windfarms in French waters is in line with EU state aid rules
The measures will help France reduce CO2 emissions, in line with EU energy and climate goals, without unduly distorting competition in the single market.
France intends to support six offshore windfarms. The six sites are located in French territorial waters off the northwestern coast of France. The sites are Courselles-sur-Mer, Fécamp, Saint-Nazaire, Iles d’Yeu/Noirmoutier, Dieppe/Le Tréport and Saint-Brieuc.
These are the first offshore wind projects supported by France. The selected installations will receive feed-in tariffs for 20 years. Construction will start on the first of the windfarms this year and they should be operational in 2022. Once finalised, the windfarms will increase France’s renewables generation capacity by about 3 GW.
The Commission assessed the support measures under EU state aid rules, in particular the Commission’s 2008 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection. It found that the support measures will help France boost its share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources to meet its climate targets, in line with the environmental objectives of the EU; and that the level of aid granted to the six projects is proportionate and does not entail over-compensation of the beneficiaries, in line with the requirements of the guidelines.
On this basis, the Commission has concluded that the measures will encourage the development of renewable energy and will help France meet its climate targets, without unduly distorting competition.
The Commission’s 2008 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection allow member states to support the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, subject to certain conditions. The rules are aimed at meeting the EU’s ambitious energy and climate targets at the least possible cost for taxpayers and without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
The Renewable Energy Directive established targets for all member states’ shares of renewable energy sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020. For France that target is 23% by 2020. The projects will contribute to reaching that target.