The French government has published the winners for the third and fourth periods of tender, approving 231 projects to build PV systems between 100 to 250kW.
In keeping with its plans to boost the French solar industry, energy regulator Commission de Régulation d’Énergie (CRE), advised the government to select projects from April-June and July-September 2012, for a total installed capacity of 49.4MWp. CRE believes France will produce 6.7GW of cumulative installed PV capacity by 2017.
Delphine Batho, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, found these results unsatisfactory and announced tenders to be relaunched in March 2013, with the aim of hitting an installed capacity of 120MW per year. This will be divided into three segments of 40MW a year.
The conditions of winning the tender will take into account, in addition to the purchase price of the electricity generated, the carbon footprint created by the PV module manufacturing process.
CRE has predicted that the annual cost of incentives for French PV installations will surpass €2.25 billion (US$3 billion) by 2017, expecting the average cost for PV incentives to decrease from €542.2 per MWh in 2011 to €377.9 per MWh at the end of 2017.
In January, Batho announced new support measures to enable France to install 1GW of new PV capacity this year, doubling the previous target of 500MW.