FRANCE OFFERS ELECTRICITY PRICE RELIEF TO PROMOTE SHIFT TO RAIL
France has recently opened up the state energy savings certificate (ESC) scheme to shippers, aimed to speed up modal shift. The ESC scheme, which is based on the ‘polluter-pays’ principle, has been in place since 2005. It is intended to enable sectors that reduce their carbon footprint to benefit from the funds paid (into the scheme) by large industrial groups responsible for a large part of CO2 emissions.
In order to encourage shippers to transport goods by rail, the French authorities will now contribute to offsetting the extra transport costs incurred in switching from road to rail freight. The energy cost ‘break’ works out at approximately 13% of the average cost of a tonne-kilometre (t-km), which is estimated at €0.03/t-km.
A national strategy for the development of rail freight in France focuses on doubling its modal share of goods from 9% in 2019 to 18% in 2030, reaching 25% in 2050. The means to achieving this focus on enhancing the attractiveness of rail, both operationally by improving the quality of freight train slots, and financially by setting up aid schemes to compensate for the additional costs compared to road transport.