The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

France Taxing Carbon Emitters in an Effort to Overhaul Consumer Energy Costs

France Taxing Carbon Emitters in an Effort to Overhaul Consumer Energy Costs

France will extend to 4 million households lower rates for electricity and natural gas to make energy more affordable while at the same time raising taxes on industries that pollute the air, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said today.

Making more people eligible for so-called “social” utility rates will make energy more accessible, he said in a speech at an environment conference in Paris. Existing law allows for 1 million households to benefit, he said.

The 2013 budget will include a “general tax” on businesses that contribute to air pollution, he said. The government also plans to review the CSPE tax on electricity bills that goes toward paying the higher costs of renewable energy.

President Francois Hollande has embarked on a plan to lower France’s reliance on nuclear power and overhaul energy costs for consumers. Electricite de France SA and GDF Suez SA, the Paris- based former monopolies, have the rates that they charge households in their home market regulated by the government.

A draft law aimed at boosting energy efficiency and lowering demand would make rules on the tariffs more complex because they will depend on home insulation and revenues.

“I want to encourage moderation in energy use,” Ayrault said today. Under the plan, the government wants 1 million homes renovated annually for which financial aid will be available, he said.

Business Costs

“What worries us the most is how much this will cost and who will pay,” Laurence Parisot, head of the business organization Medef, said after the conference on the government’s energy policies and the planned pollution tax. “We can’t keep raising costs for companies without a big impact on jobs and competitiveness.”

The government will also start tenders by the end of the year for two offshore wind parks near Le Treport in the Channel and Noirmoutier island off the Atlantic coast, as well as large- scale solar installations, Ayrault said. This will be accompanied by a streamlining of administrative procedures for development of onshore turbines.

EDF and partners including turbine maker Alstom SA won in April a French government tender to build three offshore wind farms, while Iberdrola SA got one. That first round was for almost 2,000 megawatts that will add an estimated 1.1 billion euros to household electricity bills when the wind farms are running, the government has said.

France, which doesn’t yet have any offshore wind power, plans to install 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind, tidal and wave power by 2020 to boost clean energy.

Lead image: wind turbines via shutterstock


Stock graph

Green Bonds Sprout as Wall Street Embraces Renewable Energy Debt

Cordell Eddings, Bloomberg Bonds backing clean energy and other sustainable initiatives are booming. Investors are snapping up green bonds at the fastest pace on record, as big banks like Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. pile in with new iss...

The Big Question: What Is the Most Frustrating Part about Working in Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy World Editors

Every industry has its challenges and misunderstandings. Sometimes the obstacles we face in simply trying to do our jobs can be very frustrating.

Wind turbines sunset

UK Plan to Cut Wind Subsidies Irrational, Scotland Minister Says

Alex Morales, Bloomberg

Plans by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government to end subsidies for onshore wind power make no sense, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said.

Norway and Sweden flags

Nordic Renewables Boom Set to Exceed Wind Energy Target

Jesper Starn, Bloomberg

Sweden and Norway will probably exceed a joint target for renewable energy production by the end of the decade, industry consultant Nena AS said.


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:



PV-301: Advanced PV Design & Installation

This highly desirable and advanced course is intended for the profession...

PV-401: Advanced Field Training

Real world on the job solar installation, training, and experience is th...

PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...


Up to Bat – Why More Solar Companies Are Thinking Seriously About A...

Given the growth of the solar industry in the U.S., with 2014 year-...

How to Reduce Soft Costs With a Critical Path Map

For solar installers, soft costs are a fact of life. However, they don&r...

Community Solar Solutions Appeal to Eco-Conscious Millennials

Tech savvy and convenience oriented, the millennial generation is the mo...


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now