France earmarks 10 billion euros to promote renewable energy use

Energy minister says homeowners will be able to deduct 30 percent of cost of insulation from taxable income to a maximum of €16,000.

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France will mobilise about 10 billion euros (£7.92 billion) for a package of tax breaks, low-cost loans and bonuses to boost investment in renewable energy and cut the country's oil and gas bill, Energy Minister Segolene Royal said, reports Reuters.

Royal, President Francois Hollande's fourth energy minister in two years, is tasked with reducing the country's reliance on nuclear energy - the highest in the world - to 50 percent of its electricity production from 75 percent and boosting renewable energy sources.

Last month, she presented the broad outline of a much-delayed energy transition bill, which passes through cabinet on Wednesday and is expected to become law in early 2015.

She confirmed that homeowners will be allowed to deduct 30 percent of the cost of thermal insulation from their taxable income, up to a maximum of 16,000 euros per couple.

She declined to give the overall amount budgeted for this measure, but said a similar tax break in 2009 cost about 2 billion euros per year.

The government will also simplify access to zero-percent loans for renovation work, and will increase a bonus available to drivers who buy an electric or any other clean car from 6,700 euros to 10,000 euros if they scrap a diesel-powered car at the same time.

Read more of this report from Reuters.

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