France boosts biogas subsidies

The government has expanded support for the biogas sector, going against the trend for many other countries where subsidies have been cut. The French government has announced plans to increase subsides for biogas plants by between 10% and 20%.

The rise will come in the price the government pays biogas producers for electricity from cogeneration facilities. The rise will apply to both new installations and existing facilities.

Under the new pricing structure, for example, a 300 kW biogas plant processing manure from a herd of 200 cows would be between €40,000 to €50,000 per year better off, energy minister, Segolene Royal, revealed last week. In addition, biogas generated from livestock manure and injected into the grid will come under the government’s premium injection support. This move will be worth an extra €9-13 million to the industry next year and around €15-20 million in 2017, the French government believes.

A trial system, run in seven regions since May 2014, in which biogas and wind power facilities need only apply for one permit is also to be expanded to all of France, according to Mrs Royal. The more streamlined permit brings together the requirement for a separate environmental permit, land clearing authorisation, energy permit and building consent.

Within the next ten years around 650 small-scale biogas plants with an electrical capacity of around 850 MW are expected to come into operation in France, according to German consultancy Ecoprog in a report published on 18 March this year.

The government’s support for the biogas sector follows the recent adoption by French Members of the Parliament of the Energy Transition for Green Growth. This law aims to cut France’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2030 and divide them by four by 2050, to halve the country’s energy usage by 2050, to reduce the share of fossil fuels in energy production, to cap the total output from nuclear power at 63.2 GW (77% out of the total) and bring the share of renewables up to 32% of the energy mix.


ENDS waste&bioenergy_no strapline-4This article is a result of a partnership between ENDS Waste&Bionergy and EBA.