Monday, December 12, 2016

Europe: Commission Aid to be Granted to Geothermal Energy Projects Without Going Through Tender Procedure

State aid: Commission approves four support measures for renewable energy in France (News Release)

The European Commission has confirmed that four French support schemes for renewable energy are in line with EU State aid rules, concluding that the measures in question will help promote EU objectives in the field of energy and climate without unduly distorting competition.

The French authorities have notified to the Commission four different projects intended to boost electricity production from renewable sources by granting a feed-in tariff or a top-up payment, including installations using energy extracted from geothermal deposits.

With specific regard to installations using geothermal energy, the Commission has observed that the potential number of projects is too limited to organize a competitive tender. In such cases, the Guidelines allow for the aid to be granted without going through a tender procedure. The Commission has also concluded that subjecting geothermal plants to competitive bidding with other technologies could jeopardize the long-term potential of this technology in France.