Overall French energy policy is regulated by the Planning Act of 13 July 2005, which aims to reduce national energy dependency, ensure competitive power prices and tackle climate change. The French government implemented several policies to reach these objectives, including renewable energy subsidies, a feed-in tariff for renewables, and tax incentives for renewables.French energy policy is based largely on its use of nuclear power for electricity. The reliance on nuclear power, which is essentially free of direct carbon emissions, has also led to a French GHG emissions profile that is much lower than the EU average – per capita and per unit of GDP. France’s emission targets have thus been lower than those of similarly industrialised economies. France has implemented climate strategies in various forms since 1995. Initial action plans were followed by the National Programme for Combating Climate Change in 2000, which was in turn followed by the national strategy for sustainable development published in 2004 and updated in 2006.The policy for combating climate change was finally strengthened at the end of October 2007 within the framework of the conclusions from round tables on “the Grenelle Environment Forum” and eventually named the Climate Plan 2004-2012. The latter is France’s action plan for meeting its commitments in relation to the Kyoto Protocol. It is now required that the climate policy be updated every two years according to the 2005 Energy Policy Framework Law. The “Grenelle Environment Round Table” initiated under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Environmental Conference introduced in September 2012 by the government of Francois Hollande, reflect France’s engagement in green growth measures and climate mitigation.The goal of these processes is to develop a governmental work programme through the formulation of a national roadmap identifying the path forward on sustainable development and particularly on energy transition in close consultation with industry, government, and non-governmental organisations. The French government finances this process through e.g. its “Investment for the Future” Programme (Programme d´investissements d´avenir). Within this framework, France has set itself the target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by at least 75%. President Hollande pledged to cut the share of nuclear energy in the country's electricity mix to 50% from 75% by 2025. In September 2012, he reinforced this plan and initiated an "energy transition” debate that is to culminate in a new energy bill in June 2013. The debate will include a wide range of stakeholders and is expected to have important impacts on the development of renewable energy.In March 2011, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economy passed a new decree on the support of photovoltaics power that brought major changes to the tariff structure. Tariffs for all sizes of installation were lowered significantly by 20% after having been one of the highest in Europe. Policymakers introduced an automatic, recurring degression of up to 9.5% for photovoltaic tariffs that occurs four times a year and depends on the capacity additions in the previous quarter. If huge quantities are added, tariffs can potentially decrease by up to 33% annually. The revision of the policy also brought a new categorization to the tariffs that distinguishes between fully integrated and integrated installations, location (mounted to private, commercial, and public buildings; ground-mounted), and size.In the heating/cooling sector, policies largely remained unchanged. Since the beginning of 2011, the tax deduction benefits for investments in heating/cooling installations that use renewable energy (“Eco-Prêt à Taux Zéro”) can no longer be combined with the zero interest loan (“Crédit d‟Impôt Développement Durable”).RES-EA fixed feed-in tariff and a public competitive bidding scheme for biomass and offshore wind power plants are the key instruments for RES-E support in France. The feed-in tariff covers all major renewable energy technology and provides support for periods of 15 and 20 years depending on the technology. Tariffs are differentiated by technology and size of installation. Except for wind and solar photovoltaic power, they are not subject to annual degression; policymakers reduce them on an ad-hoc basis every few years. Additional bonuses are paid for the compliance with certain quality criteria. Over the last three years (2009-2011), several modifications to the legislation have been made, particularly what concerns the support of power production from solar photovoltaic, biomass, geothermal and wind energy.RES-H&CFrance has three major instruments for the support of renewable energy sources in the heating and cooling sector. The Heat Fund (“Fonds Chaleur”) is the most important instrument for large-scale installations. It enables heat producers to receive a region-specific feed-in premium for every MWh of heat they feed into the network. For small-scale installations of households and municipalities two main incentives are in place, which are a zero interest loan (the “Eco-Prêt à Taux Zéro”) and a tax deduction policy (the “Crédit d’Impôt Développement Durable”). Some regions provide investors of small scale projects with additional fiscal incentives.RES-TRenewable energy sources in the transport sector receive support through several policies. A quota obligation forces retailers to blend their fuel with a minimum share of biofuels. Blended fuels and pure biofuels also benefit from reduced taxes. There is a bonus-malus system, which encourages the replacement of inefficient vehicles with low-emission vehicles. France also provides buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles with a premium.Energy efficiency measuresEconomic stimulus measures provide incentives for scrapping old vehicles and launch a zero-interest loan programme for residential energy efficiency improvements. They also included energy requirements for new buildings (50 kWh/m2/year) and energy efficiency assessment and renovation of state-owned buildings.