The European Commission (EC) has granted France an €11m grant for the construction of a biomass boiler.
The state aid, which is in line with EU rules as the "positive effects outweigh the potential distortions of competition", will provide France with the money to build a 43 megawatt (MW) boiler using renewable sources.
Commission vice-president in charge of competition policy, Joaquín Almunia, said: “The Beinheim biomass project will contribute to reaching the EU 2020 environmental objectives without unduly distorting competition.”
The boiler will partly replace the current capacity based on natural gas (76MW in total).
The Commission believes the boiler will encourage the diffusion of the biomass technology at a commercial scale and help with the reduction of CO2 – an expected annual CO2 savings of 75,000 tons compared to the use of natural gas – in the future.