French Solar Industry demands higher Feed-in Tariffs

Today representatives of the French solar industry and the European Photovoltaic Industry Association called for France to increase the feed-in tariffs for solar PV systems. They also called for removal of notorious barriers to interconnection. Last year France installed only 35 MW of solar PV in contrast to neighboring Germany that installed 1,100 MW. Currently there is a backlog of 70 MW of PV awaiting interconnection in France.

To create a French solar PV industry, the solar industry delegates called for a national target of 1,100 MW by 2012 and 7,000 MW by 2020 and a substantial increase in the country’s feed-in tariffs. They asked that the government:

  • Maintain the 0.571 Euro/kWh ($0.95/kWh) for building integrated PV,
  • Increase the base tariff from 0.30 to 0.45 Euro/kWh ($0.74/kWh) for rooftop PV systems,
  • Increase the base tariff from 0.312 to 0.38 Euro/kWh ($0.65/kWh) for ground-mounted PV systems up to 2,000 MW of total installed capacity,
  • Maintain the differential tariffs for France’s overseas territories,
  • Maintain the 50% tax credit for residential PV systems, and
  • Introduce a system of tariff degression only after 3-4 years of development.

Under the French system of Advanced Renewable Tariffs, overseas territories receive higher payments than installations in continental France because of the higher costs from importing oil.

The 2012 and 2020 targets for solar PV were contained in a major French environmental assessment “Le Grenelle” directed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier this year. Current rates of development are woefully short of that necessary to meet the projections in Le Grenelle.