In August, the French government launched a major renewable energy investment programme.  The new programme is dubbed <<démonstrateurs énergies renouvelables et chimie verte,>> which translates directly to “renewable energy and green chemistry demonstration.”  The renewable energy investment programme will provide €1.35bn of financial support to the sector over the coming four years.

Officials have said that the funds will be targeted at emerging technologies for clean energy that are riddled by high development costs (e.g. solar and geothermal).  To this point, France has generally targeted established low-carbon technologies, like nuclear and wind.

The French Environment and Energy Management Agency is now seeking applications for funding from private companies and research institutes seeking to conduct demonstration projects.  Additionally, there is a push to obtain about €2bn from the private sector in matching funds for the programme.

Should this style of funding for demonstration projects be successful, there are plans for other similar programmes.  The French Environment and Energy Management Agency would like to prepare programmes to invest €1bn in green transport and €250m for smart grid demonstrations.

The Grenelle Plan on Environment may have laid the groundwork for ever increasing funding for environmentally friendly research and infrastructure development through the French government.  In addition, in late August, France approved a plan to provide about €10bn for offshore wind farm development.

Though France has not announced definite plans or goals for the upcoming Conference of Parties 16, but national policy indicates a renewed commitment to renewed energy.

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