EU approves €900 million French biomass scheme

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The European Commission has approved a €900 million French scheme to support companies investing in the use of biomass and renewable hydrogen in energy and fuel production, to foster the transition towards a net-zero economy in line with the Green Deal Industrial Plan.
The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, adopted by the Commission on 9 March 2023 and amended on 20 November 2023, to support measures in sectors which are key to accelerate the green transition and reduce fuel dependencies.
The French measure
Under the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, France notified the Commission of a €900 million scheme to support the production of heat and fuels from biomass, such as synthetic gas and biochar, for use in industrial processes; and liquid fuels from biomass and renewable hydrogen, for use in industrial processes and transport.
Under this measure, the aid will take the form of direct grants, covering part of the eligible investment costs.
The measure will be open to new installations and projects that are significantly accelerated or scaled up. Projects will have to be completed and put in operation within 36 months from the granting of the aid.
The Commission found that the French scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework.
In particular, the aid will incentivise the production of energy and fuel from renewable sources; will not exceed the maximum aid intensity allowed; and will be granted no later than 31 December 2025.
The Commission concluded that the French scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to accelerate the green transition and facilitate the development of certain economic activities, which are of importance for the implementation of REPowerEU Plan and the Green Deal Industrial Plan, in line with Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework.
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president in charge of competition policy, said: "This €900 million scheme will help companies to increase the use of energy and fuels produced from biomass and renewable hydrogen.
"By reducing the reliance on imported fossil fuels, it will contribute to the achievement of the EU’s goals. This measure is an important step in the transition to a net-zero economy, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market."

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