France launches solar working group, awards 200MW of rooftop solar

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France has launched its solar working group and announced the winners of its fourth rooftop solar tender, awarding 200MW of capacity.

A total of 392 new installations were awarded with an average price of €80.8/MWh, down 5% compared to the average winning price of the previous round, which was €85/MWh. Eligible system capacities were between 100kW to 8MW, across buildings, greenhouses and agricultural sheds.

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Full results can be found here.

The regional distribution of winning projects were as per this table:

Region Number of projects Capacity (MW)
Occitanie 132 61.8
Nouvelle-Aquitaine 91 62.1
Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur 64 33.5
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes 46 12.9
Pays de la Loire 32 19.95
Bourgogne Franche-Comté 8 6.2
Grand Est 8 3.7
Centre-Val de Loire 7 1.8
Hauts-de-France 2 0.5
Normandie 1 0.5
Ile-de-France 1 0.15
Total 392 203.1

The fifth bidding period, which will close on 6 July, will be for a higher capacity of 225MW, in line with the government’s plan to increase annual deployment from 1.45GW to 2.45GW.

Solar Working Group

Secretary of State for the Minister of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition Sébastien Lecornu chaired the first meeting of the ‘solar working group’, plans for which were first announced back in January. It aims to bring together all the stakeholders in PV in order to improve administration of the sector and other efficiencies.

Lecornu said: “The working groups on wind and anaerobic digestion have shown that the dialogue between all actors in a sector can remove the obstacles to the deployment of renewable energies. Solar photovoltaic energy is becoming the most popular renewable energy and is becoming the most competitive and acceptable renewable energy in the country. This working group needs to work on self-consumption, which allows consumers to take full ownership of the energy transition; and exploit new fields in agriculture, public buildings, businesses, heritage and the general public.”

The working group will be organized in small technical commissions to focus on key areas including:

  • urban planning procedures and mobilization of land for the development of solar projects
  • self-consumption model
  • development of solar projects in non-interconnected areas
  • the case for solar thermal

The working group will make operational proposals to support PV in agriculture, local communities, businesses (retail chain, warehouses) and the world of heritage. It will meet again at the end of May to consider proposals from these small committees. The measures will be announced at the conclusion of the group's work in June 2018. 

Minister of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition Nicolas Hulot said:  “The solar sector presents a very important potential and a competitiveness which continues to improve, as the results of this new period of the call for tender for installations on buildings, with prices still in drop. The working group must allow the actors to find the best solutions to go even further and faster,”

The French ministry has claimed the country has potential for 350GW on rooftops and 600GW of ground-mount projects.

The overall PV market has seen strong acceleration having installed 587MW in 2016, 875MW in 2017 and an expected 1.2-1.5GW in 2018.

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