When renewable energy finances the excesses of fossil fuels …

SEPALE joins the wind energy industry’s joint forum, published in Les Echos on Thursday 19 January, which highlights a symptomatic paradox of the situation of renewable energies in France.

On the one hand, France is the only European country not to have achieved its – yet modest – goal for the deployment of renewable energies, and a very significant proportion of the French political landscape unfortunately agrees that these renewable energies are not mature / not scalable / not economically viable and that they do not deserve (in 2023!!) an acceleration law that really is one (preferring to distort the text so that it contains no more than wishful thinking about the implementation of concerted planning for future deployment).

On the other hand, Renewable Energies, even when little developed, contribute almost in full to the tariff shield put in place by the government to contain to a bearable level the increase in energy bills for French businesses and households, an increase due ONLY to the severe surge in gas and oil prices since mid-2021. This contribution has been imposed regardless of whether Renewable Energy production plants are under long-term contract with EDF AOA and therefore supply electricity at levels well below market prices, or whether they are not, since sales to the market or under over-the-counter contracts are also taxed almost entirely above €100/MWh (Finance Act of 2023, retroactive to July 2, 2022).

Finally, it should be noted that even the remuneration top-up contracts signed a few years ago, which provided for renewable energy plants to keep any profits after repaying all the subsidies received, have just been amended by decree dated December 29, 2022, in order to pay back to the State 100% of the excess profits generated in the current context.

The result is that it is Renewable Energies alone that are financing the tariff shield, to the tune of several tens of billions of euros, which is helping to reduce the uncontrolled – and largely artificial – rise in fossil fuel prices. So while the “traditional” energy companies are gorging themselves, the developers and operators of renewable energy plants are unfortunately not benefiting from the momentum that should obviously be theirs.


Created in July 2012 by leading RE professionals, SEPALE and its 22 employees has been successfully supporting its clients for almost a decade.

Its expertise encompasses all technical, financial and strategic issues relating to an asset or portfolio of assets in wind power and PV solar energy, or energy efficiency in buildings. At any stage of development, construction or operation, SEPALE can stand in as project manager for the entire project, or for more specific issues.

Furthermore, SEPALE draws on its in-depth knowledge of the administrative, legal and financial aspects of RE projects to provide high-level strategic advice to private and institutional investors, power producers and developers.

Press contact : Trinité Le Gallic – t.legallic@sepale.com+33 (0)4 67 48 60 06