The French government announced a huge investment package for renewable energy last week, totaling €1.35 billion ($1.73 billion). The money is to be invested over the next 4 years.
The program is called “demonstrateurs energies renouvelables et chimie verte,” which in English would mean “renewable energy and green chemistry demonstration.” It will include €450 million ($577 million) in subsidies and another €900 million ($1.15 billion) in low-interest loans for “cutting-edge technology projects.”
The emerging, cutting-edge technologies it would be supporting projects in solar energy, marine energy, geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage, and advanced biofuel.
This is quite a surprise, to me at least, since France has traditionally put so much of its “clean energy” money into nuclear energy and, to some extent, wind energy.
About €190 million ($244 million) is supposed to be invested by the end of the year, and then €290 million ($372 million) every year afterwards until 2014.
The French government is, reportedly, looking to get private investors to put in €2 billion ($2.56 billion) as well.
And, Bloomberg reports that beyond this clean energy investment program, the French government is looking to similar programs for green transport (a €1 billion or $1.28 billion program) and smart grid demonstrations (a €250 million or $320.5 million program).
I looks like France is aiming to up its green credentials quite a bit, and also diversify its green investment, to continue on its track as a leader in addressing two of the main causes of global warming — electricity generation and transportation.
Photo Credit: FrenchSelfCatering.com via flickr