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France: Energy from Renewable Sources and Bio-Fuels

(Oct. 3, 2011) France adopted an ordinance on September 14, 2011, that transposes EU Directives 2009/28 and 2009/30 into national law (Ordonnance no. 2011-1105 du 14 septembre 2011 portant transposition des directives 2009/28/CE et 2009/30/CE du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 23 avril 2009 dans le domaine des énergies renouvelables et des biocarburants, LEGIFRANCE).

Directive 2009/28 establishes a common framework for the production and promotion of energy from renewable sources, in order to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to promote cleaner transportation. It sets mandatory national targets for the overall share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy, as well as for the share of energy from renewable sources in transportation. France's overall target is 23% by 2020, of which 10% will be in the transportation sector. (Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources, 2009 OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, (L 140) 16.)

Directive 2009/30 sets targets to reduce the lifecycle of greenhouse gas emissions from fuel. It requires Member States to compel suppliers to “gradually reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 10% per unit of energy from fuel and energy supplied” by December 31, 2020 (art. 9). (Directive 2009/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April2009 Amending Directive 98/70/EC as Regards the Specification of Petrol, Diesel and Gas-Oil and Introducing a Mechanism to Monitor and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as Regards the Specification of Fuel Used by Inland Waterway Vessels and Repealing Directive 93/12/EEC, 2009 OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, (L144) 88.)

To reach the abovementioned targets, both EU Directives advocate greater use of bio-liquids and bio-fuels. The Directives set forth sustainability criteria that bio-fuels and bio-liquids must fulfill in order for them to be taken into account in the calculation of the greenhouse gas emission savings necessary to reach the reduction targets or to benefit from financial aid for their consumption.