Permanent tax exemption for agricultural biogas plants in France

France is making biogas plants such as the one in Saint Sigismond more lucrative. (Photo: Weltec Biopower)
France is making biogas plants such as the one in Saint Sigismond more lucrative. (Photo: Weltec Biopower)

The French finance law of 2015 already provided a seven-year tax exemption for agricultural biogas plants. From 2016 onward, that exemption will become permanent. It only recently came to light that the French tax authorities confirmed this in an administrative letter dated 6 January 2016.

According to the interdisciplinary firm Sterr-Kölln & Partner from Freiburg, a typical agricultural biogas plant with a drying solution and a rated output of 200 kilowatts of electric power will benefit from annual tax relief of approximately EUR 15,000.

The firm, which specialises in renewable energy, states that in order to be eligible for permanent exemption from the French local taxes (Taxe Foncière, CFE and CVAE), it is sufficient in terms of ownership for farmers to have a direct or indirect stake in the biogas operating company of 50 percent or more, and for at least 50 percent of the substrates to come from agriculture.

"The new decision is positive," said Markus Jenne of Sterr-Kölln & Partner. "It improves the attractiveness of agricultural biogas plants as well as their financial viability, thereby promoting the development of the market in France."

The new legislation in France makes biogas production more lucrative, and this could give the market significant impetus. This is a message that manufacturers and operators of biogas plants in Germany need to pay attention to.

Volker Buddensiek / Solar Consulting

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