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France launches US$1.7bn renewable energy investment program

Installation at Soultz geothermal plant, France (source: soultz.net)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 15 Aug 2010

France launches a EUR1.35 billion (US$1.7billion) renewable energy investment program, that is particularly tailored towards technologies with high development costs, among others for geothermal.

France launches a EUR1.35 billion (US$1.7billion) renewable energy investment program, split in subsidies and low-interest loans, that are particularly tailored towards technologies with high development costs, e.g. for geothermal.

The programme launched this week, “promises to provide EUR1.35bn of financial support to the sector over the next four years.”, so news from France.

According to the article, “The new programme – dubbed demonstrateurs energies renouvelables et chimie verte, literally renewable energy and green chemistry demonstration – will provide EUR450m in subsidies and a further EUR900m in low-interest loans to cutting-edge technology projects.

Officials said the funds would be targeted at emerging clean technologies that face relatively high development costs, such as solar, marine and geothermal energy, as well as carbon capture and storage projects and advanced biofuel development.

The move marks something of a shift in strategy for France, which has previously targeted the bulk of its low-carbon investment at more established technologies such as nuclear and, to a lesser extent, wind energy.

The French Environment and Energy Management Agency said it was now seeking applications for funding from companies and research bodies undertaking demonstration projects and testing of new technologies.

About €190m will be invested before the end of the year, with €290m set aside for each year up to 2014. The government said it was also seeking to attract about €2bn of private sector investment to support the programme.

According to reports from news agency Bloomberg, the agency is also preparing two similar programmes that will see €1bn invested in green transport projects and €250m provided for smart grid demonstrations.”

Source: Business Green