France to fast-track 2.7GW of solar PV in response to energy crisis

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A solar PV plant from RES in France. Image: RES.

France aims to enable the rapid commissioning of 2.7GW of solar PV awarded in recent tenders as part of efforts to speed up renewables deployment amid the energy crisis.

The country’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) has tweaked the rules for the CRE 4 and PPE 2 tenders to enable project owners to absorb part of the rises in costs and rates by selling power generation on the market before the start of their support.

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There is also a provision that allows project completion deadlines to be extended and for winning bidders to increase the power supply up to 140% of that secured in the tenders.

The measures will enable the rapid commissioning of more than 6.1GW of renewables projects that were successful in the tenders and “are currently in difficulty”, CRE said.

Alongside the 2.7GW of solar, the modifications apply to 3.4GW of wind power as well as hydroelectric and self-consumption resources.

Power producers will be able to apply for the modifications as of 1 September.

As part of emergency measures recently announced by France’s government aimed at boosting renewables generation before winter, new projects backed by contracts for difference (CfD) will be able to sell electricity on the market for 18 months before locking in their contracts.

In addition, the government said it plans to factor the evolution of raw material costs into the CfDs.

France’s PV trade association Enerplan earlier this year called for the country to triple its installed solar fleet to 37GW by 2025, when the technology should account for around 10% of the country’s electricity production.

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