France edges towards RE shake-up

The first hints of the future shape of renewables support in France emerged this week via discussion papers issued by energy minister Philippe Martin that include potential reforms to the feed-in tariff system.

Martin has sent seven "preparatory documents” to members of the National Council for Energy Transition (CNTE) – the body overseeing a fundamental review of national energy policy – after months of debate and ahead of a draft bill later in the year.

Among the measures outlined are a role for feed-in premium tariffs to supplement the sale of renewable power at market prices, and the creation of a new organisation to manage power-purchase contracts, reports French newspaper Les Echoes.

But Martin cautioned that the measures up for discussion have not even been the subject of interdepartmental debate.

French wind energy body FEE also said the debate is still at too early a stage to draw any firm conclusions.

Renewables industry bodies have become increasingly concerned that uncertainty around the reforms is hampering growth of clean-energy in the country.

Presentation of the bill by France’s Council of Ministers is expected to occur during the second half of June, with a view to adoption by Parliament by the end of the year.

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