Specifically, the State should collect 21,700 million euros from the wind sector, 3,500 million from the photovoltaic sector or even 1,700 million from the hydraulic sector, according to the latest CRE estimates.
The renewable energy sector, and in particular wind turbines, will contribute 30.9 billion euros of revenue to the State in 2022-2023, the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) reevaluated on Tuesday. The energy police, who in July estimated this amount at 8,600 million euros, has revised its forecasts upwards, thanks to the rise in electricity market prices.
“CRE establishes, in the current conditions of wholesale prices, that all renewable energy sectors in mainland France will generate income for the State budget,” he says. Within this set, wind energy contributes the bulk of revenue, worth 21,700 million euros, the photovoltaic sector for 3,500 million, the hydraulic sector for 1,700 million and biomethane injected into gas networks for 0,900 million.
France owes this favorable situation to the existence since 2003 of a special support mechanism for renewable energies: the State guarantees a certain level of electricity purchase price to renewable energy operators, who, on the other hand, pay the difference when the market prices exceed this guaranteed price – which is the case today. At this rate, the renewable energy sector should soon have paid back everything it has received for twenty years.
Financing of the tariff shield
These revenues from the State budget will help finance the rate shields and buffers intended to protect consumers and companies from the rise in energy prices, recalls the CRE. But while the market price context is more favorable for producers, the CRE also warned on Tuesday about the early termination of these support contracts by certain renewable energy producers: in July, these termination requests referred to a cumulative installed power of 1.3 gigawatts (GW); at the end of September, this volume exceeded 3.7 GW.
These cancellations will mean a cumulative loss of 6,000 to 7,000 million euros for the State throughout 2022 and 2023, the CRE estimates at this time. “These facilities could only be developed thanks to the financial support of the State from which they benefited for periods generally exceeding 10 years. It is completely abnormal for the affected producers to leave contracts guaranteed by the State a few years from their expiration to take advantage of high wholesale prices”, adds the commission, which recommends reinforcing the taxation of inframarginal income that the EU provides for these facilities.