Their request, which requests the cancellation of a decree of December 28, 2022 setting these terms, raises the question of the sharing, between these energy producers and the State, of the profits linked to the surge in electricity prices.
This appeal, of which AFP received a copy, was filed in February by the Renewable Energies Union (SER), France Energie éolienne (FEE) and Enerplan (solar representatives), which bring together large operators such as EDF and small project leaders.
With the rise in prices on the electricity markets, wind and solar sites no longer need public support: on the contrary, they now pay the State the difference between the market price and the price that was guaranteed until then, within the limit of the total aid received, under a mechanism set in 2003 to help the development of renewables.
Except that a December decree came to set additional conditions deemed unacceptable by the producers.
According to their representatives, these conditions, which are also retroactive to January 1, 2022, remove the cap on repayments and set a threshold price deemed too low to allow producers to repay in real time and benefit from profit sharing.
These "threshold prices (...) no longer lead to a sharing of the value of the energy produced between the State and the producers, in a context of lastingly very high electricity prices on the wholesale market, but to a real capture, by the State, of almost all the revenue generated by the sale on the market of the electricity produced", underlines the appeal.
The stakes are not small: renewables, and in the first place wind power, should bring 30,9 billion euros in revenue to the State over 2022-23, according to the Energy Regulation Commission ( CRE).
"We do not dispute the principle of a transfer of profits, we even welcome it, but its terms keep the project leaders captive", explains Mathias Vandenbulcke, director of strategy at FEE.
The State "wants to accelerate renewables, but in a context of rising interest rates and commodity prices, project leaders need cash to invest!"
The Ministry of Energy Transition declined to comment.