In a surprising turnaround, France’s Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy is proposing a 10% bonus for commercial facilities with panels made in Europe. Almost one month ago, the Ministry suggested cutting FiTs based on a report by the Ministry of Productive Recovery. The government is also calling for tenders for large rooftop installations (over 250kW) to be launched later this year in order to promote innovative technologies and local economic development. The annual decline rates will be capped at 20%, states the government.
President François Hollande emphatically believes that these protectionist measures will support the sector and preserve jobs in France as demonstrated at a recent industry conference. The Ministry states its objective as securing this particular business activity to create added value in France, declaring that the decisions of the previous government had profoundly destabilized the industry and led to the destruction of 10,000 jobs.
“I know of unfair competition in a number of countries that are not complying with environmental standards imposed by our industry,” said Hollande. “That is why I propose to our business partners and our partners for the introduction of a European carbon inclusion mechanism for the sectors most exposed to international competition.”
The President continued, “The question ultimately boils down to: will we be too greedy by leaving our children a burden heavier that of our own selfishness?”
At the conference, the President set an ambitious carbon reduction target of 40% in 2030 and 60% in 2040.
Thierry Mueth attempted to sum up the views of the solar industry in France. “This is a positive signal for the French PV industry. After the speech of the President of the Republic at the environmental conference, we expect that the first step towards energy transition and consideration of solar energy. This is an important political decision which allows SMEs and SMIs sector have the opportunities to maintain employment. This announcement is beneficial for the future and allows us to calmly deal with the many issues that will occupy six months of the forthcoming discussions on energy transition, “says Thierry Mueth President Enerplan.