The French law which guarantees a feed-in tariff (FiT) bonus of 5% or 10% for PV systems made with domestically-produced content may be facing the scrapheap, according to a French environmental law specialist.
Arnaud Gossement, a French lawyer who has in the past been a consultant to the minister of ecology, sustainable development and energy, said the French government has recognised that the domestic content bonus law does not comply with European Union regulations. Gossement posted a document which stated the ministry of ecology, sustainable development and energy had been informed by the European Commission that domestic content laws could not be justified as a means of protecting public interest, including the environment.
On 12 March, according to Gossement’s website, the government will submit to the ministry a proposal to repeal the law, which was introduced in early 2013. However, projects with the bonus already applied will retain it.
At present, crystalline silicon PV modules on residential buildings (T1), PV systems with simplified integration (T4) and ground-mounted PV plants (T5) qualify for a 5% bonus to the FiT if all stages of the wafer production process were completed in the European Economic Area (EEA). To qualify for a 10% bonus, manufacturers have to verify that their modules have been assembled and laminated in the EEA. Thin-film modules also qualify for the 10% bonus if the preparation and deposition phase are completed within the EEA.