France added 1.08GW of PV capacity in 2012, represented by over 34,500 plants, according to the country’s Ministry of Energy, Ecology and Sustainable Development.
The majority of this capacity, 763MW, was added in the first half of 2012. However, in Q4, the French market was at its lowest since 2008 at 75MW.
Furthermore, this is a 39% decrease of installations compared to 2011 but France has another 2.84GW of PV projects awaiting approval. This has increased France’s cumulative capacity by 37% to over 4GW.
However, French energy regulator, Commission de Régulation d’Énergie, believes France will produce 6.7GW of cumulative installed PV capacity by 2017. The French government also set up two new task forces to improve grid-connection procedures and develop criteria for the next call for tenders.
Plants over 250kW represented the majority of new capacity, with 249 plants totalling 632MW.
The south of France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, had installed the most with139MW. The Aquitaine, Lorraine and Midi-Pyrénées regions came second place with more than 100MW each in 2012.