The European Commission (EC) granted approval on Thursday for a EUR-4.12-billion (USD 4.43bn) offshore wind support scheme in France, aimed at advancing the development of two floating wind projects in the Gulf of Lion. This measure, endorsed under EU state aid rules, is designed to support two selected beneficiaries through a 2024 auction and will remain in effect for 20 years.
The targeted floating wind farms represent a pioneering effort in France, each boasting a capacity ranging from 230 to 280 MW and a commitment to generating 1.1 TWh of renewable power annually.
To be disbursed before the end of 2025, the aid will take the form of a monthly variable premium under a two-way contract for difference (CfD). The CfD calculations will involve a reference price established through winning tender offers and will be influenced by the prevailing market price for electricity.
This French initiative falls under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, adopted earlier this year. Beyond facilitating the expansion of offshore wind energy to support the transition to a net-zero economy, the scheme aligns with the REPowerEU Plan, contributing to France's efforts to reduce dependency on Russian fossil fuels, according to Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy.