The French government is looking to kick-start the country’s residential market with an adjustment to the feed-in tariff (FiT) for projects up to 36kW.
As part of the country’s ongoing energy reforms, the minister responsible for energy, Ségolène Royal, has proposed increasing the tariff rate for systems below 36kW.
In November 2014, a 400MW tender for systems over 250kW in size was launched as the country’s stalled PV sector began to see the benefits of solar advocate Royal’s tenure. The French market shrank by almost half in 2013 to 613MW from 1115MW in 2012, according to figures from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).
In addition to the proposed adjustment to the small-scale FiT, a premium could be added to electricity sold from solar plants as the government looks to bolster its support for larger projects.
The new proposals are the result of a consultation period and were presented to figures from the renewable energy industry. They will undergo further discussion before being added to the energy reform legislation. It is expected to be reviewed by the Council of State this summer, which must assess all draft legislation.
After a number of changes, Ségolène Royal is President Hollande’s third minister in as many years at the Department of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. The changes have hampered progress with the country's energy reforms.