France to require all large car parks to have solar rooftops by law

New non-residential buildings will be required to have at least 50% of the rooftop be covered with solar PV. Image: SunSource Energy.

The French Senate approved new legislation that will boost the deployment of renewables in France, with the requirement for outdoors car parks to be covered with solar by law.

Outdoor large car parks that have more than 80 places will be required by law to be covered with solar PV which could add between 6.7 to 11GW of solar capacity in the coming years, according French senator Jean-Pierre Corbisez. This would almost double the installed solar capacity of France, which was 13.2GW as of 2021.

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Starting 1 July 2023, car parks with at least 80 places and up to 400 will have five years to comply with the new measure, while bigger car parks will be required to implement the changes in three years.

Some exceptions might be applied if technical, security, architectural, historical or environmental constraints impede the installation of solar rooftops.

Other measures adopted in the law include an increased requirement for non-residential rooftops that would require 50% of the roof to be covered by solar PV, up from the 30% previously sought.

Several proposals around agrivoltaics have also been adopted, among others the removal of asbestos in agricultural rooftops in favour of solar PV, which will be implemented as a trial-run for the next three years.

The French Renewable Energy Trade Association (SER in French) welcomed the Senate’s introduction of several articles that will accelerate the deployment of renewables in France.

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