France makes revisions to FiT rates

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France has revised its feed-in tariff rates down from the original proposals in September 2009. The new rates include an increase in some ground-mounted and BIPV tariffs, as well as some decreases. The new changes are due to take effect on January 1, 2010.

Similarly to the proposal released by the country’s Energy Ministry back in September, a distinction will be made between BIPV systems that integrate solar technology in a highly aesthetic manner and buildings that integrate in a simplified manner. The traditional BIPV incentive has been reduced, while ground mounted subsidies offer a premium for systems installed in cloudier areas.

Barclays Capital reports on this news, stating that this new proposal does not alter its French/global demand outlook as it expects IRRs to remain attractive in 2010.

The changes to the BIPV tariff include a decrease in fully integrated roofing systems for residential/health/agricultural buildings. These installations will now receive a FiT of €0.58/kWh in 2010 and 2011, up from the 2009 FiT of €0.55/kWh but down from the September proposal of €0.60/kWh. Commercial/industrial buildings will now receive a FiT of €0.50/kWh while simplified BIPV installations will receive a FiT of €0.42/kWh, down from the 2009 FiT of €0.55/kWh and below the September proposal of €0.45/kWh.

For the ground-mounted systems, the new tariffs will provide incentives for installations in cloudier areas. For these the FiT varies between €0.314/kWh and €0.377/kWh, depending on the solar insolation of the region. This is an increase from 2009 FiT of €0.30/kWh, which was in place regardless of the location of the installation. However, this is below the September proposal of €0.328/kWh – €0.394/kWh depending on solar insolation.

 

Barclays Capital believes that although the subsidies are somewhat lower than the September proposal, ground based subsidies are still higher than 2009 levels. There is no cap and the subsidy claiming process is expected to be streamlined to enable faster growth. The report released by Barclays on 13 January said that it believed the new French ground-based tariffs are now more attractive than German ground-based tariffs (€0.285/kWh for 2010 in German ground mount).

 

“Despite the cut in subsidies from the original proposal, IRRs in France remain attractive in our view. For residential buildings, we expect IRRs to reach 31.6% by Q410, up significantly from IRRs in Q109 of 18%. For ground-mounted systems in sunny locations, we expect IRRs to reach 17.5% by Q410, up from 9.2% in Q109. In less sunny regions, we expect IRRs to get as high as 14.7% by Q410, up from 4.8% in Q109. We model solar installations to increase from ~100MW in 2009 to ~400MW in 2010 and 500MW in 2011,” the report claimed. 

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