France: Heat Fund for Solar Thermal Collective Systems

At the beginning of 2009, Ademe started a support scheme called “Heat Fund” (Fonds Chaleur) to provide for more large-scale solar thermal systems in older buildings, hotels, campsites, hospitals and military barracks. 50 to 60 % of the preparatory study costs are subsidized, as well as up to 65 % of the investment costs, with subsidy funds being divided between the government and the single regions. The table shows the status after the revision of the programme at the beginning of 2016.

Read further news about the Fonds Chaleur


Country / region


Name of programme

Fonds Chaleur

Type of incentive


Eligible technologies

Solar thermal and also other renewable technologies (geothermal, biomass, biogas). Potential mixture with other incentive schemes

Applicable sectors

Multi-family houses, agriculture, industry and commercial sector (hotels, campsites, hospitals, older buildings, agrofood sector, swimming pools, etc.)

Incentive for investment

650 € per toe over 20 years, equals a subsidy between 391 and 425 EUR/m² of collector area, according to annual solar thermal yield and thus according to the geographical area (see below).

Maximum incentive for a pre-study

Pre-studies financed between 50% to 60% of the total cost. The subsidy hardly go over EUR 1,000.

Maximum incentive for the investment

Maximum 65 % of the investment costs are subsidized for non commercial activities, like social housing; for commercial acitivities the subsidies depend on the business size and annual revenue.
The maximum eligible part of the solar investment for the grants is 1,100 EUR/m² of collector area. It includes engineering and monitoring

Requirements for system

Annual solar thermal yield of at least:
350 kWh/m2 in Northern part of France
400 kWh/m² in Southern part of France
450 kWh/m² in Mediterranean region of France
At least 25 m2 of collector area per building
Solar thermal systems which include a heat pump or benefitted from a tax credits are not eligible within the Fonds Chaleur scheme

Requirements for installation

Monitoring a system after its installation. Certified collectors. Choice between 6 selected hydraulic schemes. Studies and installation are to be made by certified professionals with RGE qualification (RGE=Reconnu Garant de l’Environnement)

Finance provider 

Ademe – the French Energy Agency

Total funds

EUR 420 millions per year between 2015 and 2017 together for all of the stated technologies (biomass, geothermal, solar)

Funding source

Public funds

Effective date

December 2008

Expiration date



Last review of this tabloid

March 2016


Regional directorates of ADEME


Baerbel Epp

Bärbel Epp is Founder and Director of the German communication and market research agency solrico and editor-in-chief of