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France to concentrate public support for geothermal on heat

France to concentrate public support for geothermal on heat Geothermal Plant at Soultz-sous-Forets, France (source: ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 18 May 2021

In its new multi-annual energy program, France removes the eligibility of geothermal plants producing electricity for additional renumeration.

An article shared today by Actu Environnement in France, shares details on the updates to the incentive program for geothermal energy in France. In January last year, we reported on concerns by the geothermal sector about the then new draft of legislation on multi-annual energy planning for France. The voices then raises big concerns by the geothermal sector in France as it did not provide for any guarantees of favourable feed-in-tariffs for geothermal power.

Fears seem to have now been proven right, as the multiannual energy program (PPE) now plans to concentrate public support for geothermal energy on heat production . While “electricity production projects that have already been the subject of a request for additional admissible remuneration will be supported” , future projects will now have to go through R&D support systems, as the new decree specifies.

The decree and the order of May 11, 2021 therefore reflect this development by removing the eligibility of geothermal installations producing electricity for additional remuneration, as of August 11, 2021.

Today, only one geothermal electrical installation is in service in mainland France, in Soultz-sous-Forêts (Bas-Rhin). “This project, originally built as a scientific experimentation pilot in the mid-1980s, became in 2017 an industrial exploitation site, with a gross electric power of around 1.5 MW, that is to say an electricity production of the order of 7,800 MWh/ year supplied to the electricity network , indicates the PPE.

In 2018, 15 exclusive research permits were in progressto identify geothermal potential, over an area of ??10,000 km2. But this mode of production suffers from its lack of competitiveness. The production cost of facilities likely to be developed in mainland France is estimated by French Environment and Energy Management Agency Ademe between EUR 173/ MWh to EUR 336 / MWh. Until then, the installations could benefit from additional remuneration on the basis of a reference tariff of EUR 246 / MWh.

Source: Actu Environnement