French General Commission for Strategy and Economic Foresight calls for end to national FIT schemes
Post date: 02/02/2014
At the request of French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s General Commission for Strategy and Economic Foresight (CGSP) has published an analysis of the European electricity market and has issued seven recommendations for a new Europe-wide strategy for electricity policy.
CGSP found that between the global financial crisis, decreasing energy prices caused by an increase in shale gas production and the variability of renewable energies, assumptions made by the EU in 2008 no longer hold true. Thus, a new EU strategy for electricity policy is needed. First and foremost, CGSP says, the EU must reduce CO2 emissions by implementing clear and stable long-term reduction policies and targets.
Regarding renewables, CGSP states that national support schemes such as FIT schemes have distorted power price dynamics and must therefore be shut down. Instead, renewables should be progressively integrated into the electricity market, and FIT schemes should be replaced with competitive auctions for mature technologies. Financial support should be reserved for research and development, CGSP says. The institution also advises the EU to reform its emissions trading system, and it says that EU member states must cooperate more closely on developing a European electricity market.
In mid-December, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Philippe Martin launched a public consultation on the status of the domestic electricity system and market and on how to improve France’s incentive mechanisms for renewable energies. Martin did not indicate how the consultation intends to further support renewable energies, and he provided no guidance on what might replace the current FIT scheme once the program ends. All interested parties have until Feb. 28, 2014 to submit proposals and suggestions. The government stressed that its future renewable energy policy would not affect current and past investments and signed contracts.