The European Commission has authorised France under to provide a Eur11 million grant for the construction of a 43 MW boiler using renewable sources (biomass). The heat will be produced and delivered on the industrial site operated by Roquette Freres in Beinheim. The Commission concluded that the aid is in line with EU state aid rules, because on balance, the positive effects of the measure outweigh the potential distortions of competition.
The boiler will represent a 43 MW heat production capacity and partly replace the current capacity based on natural gas (76 MW in total). It is expected to result in annual CO2 savings of 75.000 tons for Roquette Freres, compared to the use of natural gas. More generally, it will encourage the diffusion of the biomass technology at commercial scale and participate in reducing the CO2 abatement costs over the coming years.
The development of renewable energy is part of the climate and energy package for reaching the EU 2020 environmental objectives. The Commission concluded that the French measure is an appropriate and proportionate measure necessary to achieve an objective of EU interest. In particular, the Commission found that the aid is proportionate in view of the risks for the investment related to the current and future gas and CO2 prices.