For Guillaume Kasbarian, Member of Parliament for Eure-et-Loir and President of the Economic Affairs Committee, “the course is clear: to make France the leading European nation in the green industry. Reindustrialize France and achieve our decarbonization objectives, mobilizing all the driving forces of our territories.”
The consultation work led by Mr. Kasbarian was launched last January by the Minister of Economy, Bruno le Maire, and the Minister Delegate for Industry, Roland Lescure, with a view to drafting the Green Industry bill, which should be submitted to a parliamentary vote by this summer.
These broad consultations involving industrialists, environmental associations, trade unions, public institutions, and politicians, have resulted in the publication of a consultation report (Link) composed of 29 proposals built around 5 priority projects.
We detail 8 key proposals from this report that should particularly interest the French industry wishing to accelerate its decarbonization, its financing, its installation in the territory, and its talent search to update it.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes a large incentive package for companies in the US. Therefor, it represents a challenge for France and the EU, one that will have to be considered to measure the efficacy of the proposed plan as a sufficient response.
In addition, the various proposals in this new plan focus on one main key KPI, i.e. CO2 reduction and decarbonation, which means that it may not cover other elements also key for developing the French industry in the field of circular economy or the water resource.
Priority Area 1 – Transform taxation to grow the green industry
#1 – Help the industry commit to decarbonization
To encourage industries to invest in the decarbonization of their processes and products, aid will be prioritized according to a result objective, instead of a means objective as currently.
Industrial sites committing to a decarbonization plan will receive a subsidy or tax credit covering part of their investments, spread over a 5-year period with verification, each year, of the achievement of decarbonization milestones.
#2 – Support green production through tax credits
Producers of components related to the key technologies below will benefit from subsidies, tax credits, or even accelerated depreciation, depending on the amount of investment or, if possible, the quantity of products manufactured in France.
- Batteries and metals
- Heat pumps
- Next-generation nuclear
- Photovoltaic & Wind
- Carbon capture, utilization, and storage
- Electrical grids
#3 – Give visibility to the industry with the assurance of long-term decarbonized energy contracts
This measure will provide industries with access to green and low-cost energy through a tax aid on the purchase tariffs of long-term electricity contracts backed by new installations. The measure specifically targets green hydrogen producers to make this production more competitive in France.
#4 – Finance the announced measures
To finance the announced measures, it is proposed to act on several levers:
- reduce brown fiscal spending, in particular by raising certain reduced TICPE rates;
- act on the automobile bonus/malus, for example by increasing the malus weighing on the most polluting vehicles;
- re-examine certain advantages of the Research Tax Credit (CIR);
- continue to mobilize “France 2030” to support the green industry.
Priority Area 2 – Open factories, rehabilitate brownfields, make land available
#6 – Prepare more “turnkey” sites to reduce implementation delays
These measures make it possible to prepare the land that will host tomorrow’s industrial installations: developers who wish to do so can anticipate certain administrative steps on this land before the arrival of the project, and save about six months for the industrialist (preparation of his file and effective launch of the authorization procedure).
#9 – Reduce the deadlines of the National Public Debate Commission for the green industry
A major green industry project must currently be subject to a public debate or preliminary consultation under the auspices of the CNDP (National Public Debate Commission), the organization of which requires at least 6 months. The measure aims to reduce the CNDP processing time for projects related to the green industry. An alternative could be to exempt them from going through the CNDP as long as they contribute to decarbonization.
#10 – Parallelize and improve administrative procedures to accelerate reindustrialization
The environmental authorization procedure required to carry out an industrial project currently takes an average of 17 months in France compared to 8 months in Germany. The measure aims to reduce administrative procedures using several levers:
- start the public consultation at the beginning of the instruction procedure and not at the end. In return, the public consultation would be extended to 3 months;
- carry out the public consultation and various administrative consultations simultaneously and from the beginning of the procedure, which are currently carried out in series;
- set up within the DREAL a support unit for project leaders in the constitution of better quality files.
Priority Area 5 – Train for green industry jobs
#27 – Train more for industry jobs: increase the industrial talent pool in schools, universities, and professional training
To address the shortage of engineers in the coming years, this measure plans to increase the talent pools through three levers:
- open additional places in IUTs and professional licenses, engineering schools, master’s and doctoral scientific training;
- increase social diversity in the pathways of scientific training;
- promote the recognition of the engineer’s title through the Validation of Acquired Experience (VAE).