Regulators at the European Commission have found in favour of a French scheme supporting combined heat and power plants using natural gas, saying the plans are in line with state aid rules.
The European Commission stated on Tuesday that the scheme ‘will reduce CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency, in line with EU energy and climate goals, without unduly distorting competition.’
Under the plans, energy plants will be granted either a feed-in premium on top of the market price or a feed-in tariff depending on their power output.
The French scheme will provide support to high efficiency combined heat and power plants with a power output up to 1 MW. It will help France to reach its energy efficiency and CO2 emission reduction targets by supporting the deployment of around 7 MW of additional generation capacity.
High efficiency combined heat and power units provide at least 10% primary energy savings as compared to units that produce heat and electricity separately.
The type of support these units can receive under the scheme depends on their size:
combined heat and power plants up to 1 MW will receive support in the form of a feed-in-premium on top of the market price, while plants up to 300 kilowatt will receive support in the form of a feed-in tariff.
The Commission’s 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy allow Member States to grant state aid for high efficiency combined heat and power plants, subject to certain conditions. These rules are aimed at meeting the EU’s ambitious energy and climate targets at the least possible cost for taxpayers and without undue distortions of competition in the Single Market.