The French government has confirmed reports that it is to introduce a 500MW annual cap on PV installations. The decision was reached at a meeting between the French Prime Minister, François Fillon, the Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development, Nathalie Koscciusko-Morizet, and the Minister for Budget, François Baroin, last month and it will come into force on March 10.
With completed and planned projects for 2010 already totalling 3,400MW, the government believes the annual limit of 500MW to be fair, although it has left itself room to manoeuvre; the ceiling could be increased to 800MW if a certain proposed projects are not realised.
The government is currently finalising the regulatory framework surrounding the cap. This will see a reduction of 20% on current feed-in tariffs from their September 2010 levels and the introduction of a quarterly adjustment mechanism for residential and small-scale PV systems. For larger systems, tenders are to be used.