- EU has approved the French state aid scheme of €2.9 billion to support production of net-zero equipment in the country
- Along with solar panels, it will support the production of batteries, wind turbines and heat pumps, related key components and critical raw materials
- EU has also approved €902 million for Northvolt to produce battery cells in Europe instead of the US under the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework
Solar panel manufacturing is one of the strategic areas of net-zero equipment production that will benefit from the €2.9 billion French tax credit scheme recently approved by the European Commission.
The Executive Vice-President in charge of Competition Policy, Margrethe Vestager said the French aid scheme contributes to the achievement of Europe’s ambitious climate goals.
Aid will be offered to eligible companies in the form of a tax credit which will not exceed the ceilings set out in the framework. It will be granted until December 31, 2025.
The French scheme, approved under the EU state aid rules of the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, will also support the production of batteries, wind turbines and heat pumps, related key components and critical raw materials in France (see EU’s New Measures To Boost Solar PV Manufacturing).
Under the framework, member states are free to design simple and effective schemes to accelerate transition towards a net-zero economy, capping maximum aid amount for a member state to up to €350 million, both for direct grants and for tax advantages, loans or guarantees.
The commission adds, “Furthermore, in exceptional cases, member states may provide higher support to individual companies, where there is a real risk of investments being diverted away from Europe, subject to a number of safeguards.”
Of late, France has been seeing an uptick in solar manufacturing initiatives with CARBON planning a GW-scale TOPCon solar cell and module fab, also venturing into tandem technology. Holosolis is another startup working on tandem cell and module technology to roll out 10 million panels (see Boost For French Solar Cell & Module Manufacturing Plans).
Additionally, under the framework, the commission has also approved €902 million in state aid from Germany to Swedish battery producer Northvolt to support its plans for a battery cells gigafactory in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein.
Vestager explained “The aid will enable Northvolt’s investment in a gigafactory to produce battery cells for electric vehicles in Europe instead of the United States. It is the first individual measure that was approved in line with the exceptional possibility under the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework.”
Talking about the framework, Vestager added, “It has since March 2023 enabled Member States to design simple and effective schemes to support investments in net-zero equipment, while ensuring that support is proportionate, targeted and temporary. It follows the approval of similar schemes in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Spain, worth in total €9.1 billion, and with several others in the pipeline.”
Source from Taiyang News
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