Germany-based SolarWorld has claimed to be the first PV manufacturer to receive France’s 10% domestic content bonus in addition to the feed-in tariff (FiT).
In a bid to boost the French solar industry, the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Energy released details of emergency measures, which included a10% local content allowance, in January.
Certisolis, a testing and certification institute confirmed that SolarWorld’s modules fully comply with the requirements of the French government to qualify for the bonus.
The decree issued by the Ministry provides a 5% increase in FiTs for PV systems if modules incorporate cells manufactured in the European Economic Area or if the production stages of soldering, lamination and electrical testing are carried out in the EEA. If two of the above criteria are met, the bonus is increased to 10%. The 10% increase also applies if the wafer is produced in Europe and one of the other two criteria is met.
SolarWorld’s production facilities in Freiburg, Germany, cover all stages of the value chain, from wafers to solar cells all the way to the finished modules. The audit carried out by Certisolis showed that the company’s entire production process is carried out in Europe.
The domestic content bonus is intended to help offset the French solar industry's trade deficit, which has grown to €1.35 billion (approximately US$1.75 billion).