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Crediting System in Favour of Energy Management FOGIME (Fonds de Garantie des Investissements de Maîtrise de l'Energie)

Created in 2000, FOGIME has a budget of approximately € 17.8 million. These funds are provided by ADEME and SOFARIS, a branch of the development bank for SMEs (BDPME). The fund guarantees up to € 242 million for loans to the private sector in aiming to provide SMEs with the option to obtain loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. This guarantee is only available for SMEs created more than three years ago. Eligible for funding are investments in high performance production, use, recovery and energy storage equipment, energy efficient modifications of production processes and renewables that are incurred by SMEs. The guarantee covers medium and long-term risks of 2-15 years and insures the risk taken by the financial institution providing the loan. It covers 70% of the loan in comparison to 40% average coverage rates for other SME projects covered by BDPME. The maximum amount that has to be guaranteed by the enterprise is € 750,000. ADEME is also offering financial support for the decision making process. This includes the coverage of 50-70% of the costs of feasibility studies. The help can also include questions on whether a solar thermal installation is economical or not. The financial support ranges from € 2,300 to € 75,000. In certain regions exist additional funding opportunities.

Extension of Tax Credit in Favor of Renewable Energy Equipment in New Housing

The finance law of 2003 extended the tax credit for renewable energy equipment in new residences that covers 15% of eligible expenses.

Chauffe-eau Solaires dans les DOM

This program grants investment support for solar thermal installations in France's overseas departments. Under "Chauffe-eau solair individuel", ADEME offers a maximum amount of € 525 per CESI type collector. There also are several additional benefits offered by several regional institutions. There is a maximum of € 700 per CESI type collector of size 3 to 5 m. For the installation of heater and warm water there is a minimum of € 1,150 per project. Additional funding by the regions also exists. There is a maximum of € 343 per 2 m². Under "Chauffe-eau solaire collectif" for citizens and third parties in the service sector there is a maximum amount of € 400 per m² and a maximum of 40% of the investment costs. In residential settings and the service sector the maximum amount is € 400 or 50% of the maximum investment.

Contrat de Plan Etat-ADEME

This pluriannual contract concerns incentives to foster investments in renewable energy projects. The contract is under ADEME umbrella and several renewable energy schemes have been defined and implemented, and a general agreement has been reached between State and ADEME on objectives to be met and funds to be raised and employed on the 2000-2006 period.

Fonds d'Intervention pour l'Environnement et la Maîtrise de l'Energie (FIDEME)

In effect from 2001, FIDEME is a fund for environment and energy efficiency and a specific financial scheme to support private investors. The maximum financial share granted is 25% of the total project costs. Its goal is to promote investments in environment and energy efficiency projects according to classic financial appraisal techniques but with a higher level of risk acceptance, which is balanced by higher commissions and interest rate.

Lois Paul and Girardin

The laws "Loi Paul" (2001) and "Loi Girardin" (2003) provide a personal income tax reduction for private investments in the overseas territories. The income tax reduction is limited to 60% of the income paid by the individuals. This fiscal instrument is largely used by renewable energy operators to attract individual investment.

Plan Soleil

In 1999, approval was given by the government to the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) to launch "Plan Soleil". This plan is designed to support the development of solar hot water heaters and is a national program. The first phase of the program, specific to individual solar hot water heaters, was extended to collective applications of solar water heating. The objective is to reach 112 000 m² per year of collector surfaces installed and a total of 330 000 m² installed between 2000 and 2006. Since January 2005 a tax bonus is given as incentive for investment.

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