A significant planned investment in renewable energy for France has been at the forefront of the EU energy news after Segolene Royal, the French Energy Minister reported on the country’s plan to earmark a staggering £793 billion (10 billion euros) to the cause.
Renewable energy is a fast growing market with on-going concerns regarding the environmental impact of more traditional energy sources, the fast declining levels of fossil fuels and import costs fast-forwarding the move into more eco-friendly and sustainable energy sources.
The 10 billion euro package currently being put forward will be made up of tax-breaks, reduced cost loans and more and is aimed directly at boosting renewable energy and reducing France’s substantial oil and gas bills.
France currently have the highest dependence of any other country on nuclear power and Royal’s most pressing remit is to cut this reliance in favour of renewable energy sources. Her long-awaited energy transition bill was submitted recently to the French cabinet and the expectation is that by 2015 the content will be approved and become law.
Royal’s keen plan to move forward into renewables will have an impact on residents and businesses yet the changes appear to be advantageous and the hope is that constituents will embrace the leap into renewable energy sources with fervour given that financially as well as environmentally this will benefit all.
Royal confirms that as part of her energy plan homeowners will be able to consider a maximum of thirty percent of the cost of installing thermal insulation in their home as a tax reduction off their overall income with the upper threshold being capped at sixteen thousands euros per couple.
Access to 0% interest loans earmarked for approved renovation work will be simplified and those choosing to buy an electric or similarly “clean” vehicle will also benefit under the new initiatives. With a monetary bonus of as much as 6700 euros for an environmentally friendly car purchase to a significant 10,000 euro for those who trade in a scrap a diesel powered car at the same time these ground level pro-renewable changes look set to be popular.
A further tax rebate of 30% for those who buy an electric vehicle and additionally have a charger fitted at their home also serves to sweeten the initiatives which Royal needs to get the public on board with. Being France’s fourth energy minister in a little over two years she is under pressure to perform and meet the energy-related goals that have been decided upon both domestically and across the EU.
France’s pro-active stance on boosting renewables could well provide the model for a number of other countries follow as the move into renewable energy becomes necessary both environmentally and economically. Seeing more EU members adopt similar strategies would catapult the renewable energy initiatives forward while reducing fuel dependency on other countries is a key goal. Tighter guidelines and set targets are expected to be agreed upon across Europe and indeed internationally in the coming months and years.