ANNOUNCEMENT 10 Dec 2018
On 11 May 2018, France notified the European Commission of its intention to provide financial support, in the form of feed-in tariffs, to Dunkirk offshore wind project. On 10 December 2018, the European Commission approved the financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
SA.51061 France - Offshore wind in Dunkerque: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_SA_51061
Aide d’État SA.51061 (2018/N) – France Parc éolien en mer dans une zone au large de Dunkerque: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases1/201927/274555_2079310_198_2.pdf
EDF Group, press release of 14 June 2019, EDF-led consortium selected for the Dunkirk offshore wind power project: https://www.edf.fr/en/the-edf-group/dedicated-sections/journalists/all-press-releases/edf-led-consortium-selected-for-the-dunkirk-offshore-wind-power-project
Reuters, UPDATE 2-EDF consortium wins 600 MW Dunkirk offshore wind project, issued on 14 June 2019: https://www.reuters.com/article/france-renewables-dunkirk/update-2-edf-consortium-wins-600-mw-dunkirk-offshore-wind-project-idUSL8N23L2MV
On 10 December 2018, the European Commission approved the granting of feed-in tariffs for the future electricity produced by the Dunkirk offshore wind project for a period of twenty years from the start of production. Production is expected to commence from 1 June 2025. The feed-in tariffs represent the difference between the market price and the guaranteed purchase price of electricity. This subsidy is estimated to have a total value of EUR 2 billion (around USD 2.27 billion). Notably, the feed-in tariffs were granted following a tender opened by the French authorities on 15 November 2018. The Commission approved the granting of feed-in tariffs for the project prior to the French authorities declaring a winner of the tender. The beneficiary was thereby unknown at the time of approval by the Commission.
On 14 June 2019, the French authorities awarded a consortium led by the French state-owned utility company EDF. Apart from EDF, the Canadian company Enbridge and the German company Innogy are also participants in the consortium. This is the third wind farm project the French utility company has won through a government tender which in turn has led to the granting of feed-in tariffs, see related state acts.
The Commission noted that the beneficiary of the feed-in tariffs will receive a selective advantage which other producers do not have. Additionally, as noted in its decision text, the Commission noted that: "Electricity is traded between Member States. All advantages granted to a given entity generating electricity is therefore likely to distort competition and affect trade between Member States." (own translation)
The Commission, however, decided, following an investigation of the state aid: "... decided not to raise objections to the notified State aid on the ground that it is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107 (3) (c)TFEU" (own translation)
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.