ArcelorMittal-Backed Lobby Warns Against French Green-Energy Tax

December 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

A French industry lobby with members
including ArcelorMittal (MT), Arkema SA (AKE) and Total SA (FP) said a plan by
lawmakers to force energy-intensive producers to pay more tax to
fund development of renewable power will hurt competitiveness.

“The measure will worsen the unpredictability of energy
policy and fiscal instability,” Uniden said in a statement.
Some struggling plants would pay 22 percent more tax, it said.

Lawmakers adopted an amendment Dec. 6 to raise the maximum
contribution large power consumers pay for the so-called CSPE
tax that subsidizes renewable energy. Uniden’s intervention is
the latest in a Europe-wide trend of electricity producers such
as GDF Suez SA (GSZ) complaining green-energy subsidies are too high.

Under French politicians’ plans, the maximum payment for an
industrial site consuming large amounts of power would rise to
695,829 euros next year from 569,418 euros in 2013. Renewable
tax exemptions for industry apply to almost a fifth of the power
France uses, a copy of the amendment on the National Assembly’s
website shows. The Senate still needs to vote on the measure.

In the future, the maximum contribution would vary with the
tax rate rather than inflation. This implies a 22 percent jump
in 2014 should the rate rise to 16.50 euros a megawatt hour, as
slated, from 13.50 euros. In contrast the increase would be 1.3
percent under the peg to inflation, according to the amendment.

The CSPE, designed to pay for renewable and other energy
subsidies, is also levied on consumer bills. French industries
through Uniden have said they need exemptions to compete with
German plants that mostly don’t pay for renewables development.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Tara Patel in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Will Kennedy at

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