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Financial aid
 

There are two forms of public financial aid in favour of the environment and energy savings, largely relating to investment :

3Direct project aid : subsidies and repayable advances, depending on the amount of the investment.3

These subsidies are not automatic and are allocated by decision-making bodies following examination of an application presenting the project, evaluating its relevance with regard to the policies and priorities supported and budgets available.

The main types of project aid are :

  • aid from the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), in the domains of air pollution, energy (renewable energy sources, energy savings), environmental management, contaminated sites and soil, waste, clean transport,
  • aid from water agencies, for the prevention and treatment of water pollution (reduction at source, treatment equipment, reduction in water intake etc.),
  • aid from regional councils, according to the policies defined by each regional council. These policies are often formalised in a contract with the State and ADEME or ADEME and the Regional Council,
  • aid from European structural funds, managed by regional prefectures, with a policy defined in each region. Depending on the themes and organisation selected in each region, the applications are examined by ADEME and/or State services (mostly the Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and the Environment (DRIRE) and the Regional Directorate for the Environment (DIREN)).

3Tax incentives, in the form of exemptions, tax credits and tax relief, or accelerated tax write-off (to accelerate investment write-off deduction from the taxable result and therefore reduce the profit tax paid at the time of the investment).3

Unlike subsidies and repayable advances, tax incentives are automatic when eligibility criteria are fulfilled ; there are no relevance criteria. Of course, the tax authorities examine compliance with eligibility criteria, which are not always simple. In case of doubt, taxpayers can contact the tax authorities beforehand and obtain a written opinion (tax exemption procedure).