New Public Support to Boost French Biomethane Production

The French government recently reiterated its support to the biomethane sector by adjusting the conditions for applying to the feed-in tariff. These regulatory changes boost come at a right time after the sector experienced weakened economic conditions this last couple of years given rising inflation, electricity and transport cost.

The newly issued regulations improve flexibility for biogas operators in the market offering the following key benefits:

  • Facilities can now postpone their eligibility for the biomethane purchase tariff until their actual commissioning date (15-year tariff window)
  • Facilities will have the opportunity to revise their maximum production capacity estimate (up to 25GWh/year), eligible for the purchase tariff, annually for the next two years.
  • Increased in feed-in tariffs for new biomethane projects of around +15% for all sites of less than 25 GWh/year
  • Tariff updates for existing facilities now occur biannually instead of annually, providing more accurate inflation adjustments
  • Authorization for combining the obligation to purchase biomethane at a regulated tariff with other investment aids (e.g. from ADEME or regional authorities)
  • Encourage facilities to limit electricity consumption to 15% of the energy they produce and to switch away from fossil fuel, promoting energy efficiency

France has close to 600 biomethane production facilities. In 2022, the volume of biomethane injected amounted to nearly 7 TWh/year, equivalent to the annual gas consumption of over 2 million households. By the end of 2022, 1,175 projects were officially recorded in French GRDF biogas register, for a total capacity of 25 TWh/year, according to Open data reseaux-énergie. France aims to inject 44 TWh/year of biomethane into its gas networks by 2030. Yet, the regulatory changes have the potential to boost domestic production to an estimated 70TWh/year, equivalent to 20% of the country’s overall gas consumption.

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