France recently issued new tenders for solar energy, targeting an increase its installed PV capacity by 20 GW in 2023.
The French environment and energy minister Segolene Royal announced the introduction of a number of new solar tenders in France for the development of various PV applications.
This means France may triple its solar PV capacity to 20 GW by 2023. The tenders are expected to hit incremental goals of 10.2 GW by 2018, and between 18.2 to 20.2 GW by 2023.
Tenders have attracted large investments
Support for solar development follows the previous round of tenders — first introduced in 2014 — which collectively attracted more than $1 billion in investment into France’s solar PV industry. Experts in the country believe that the certainty offered by this approach will carry further favor with investors, and should particularly help boost France’s ground-mount and BIPV sectors.
The plans were first announced by the Conseil Superieur de L’Energie (CSE) in April, which outlined how France will embrace further its use of solar and wind energy. The CSE also confirmed there will be no nuclear plant closures before 2019, but affirmed that nuclear’s share of the energy mix will fall from 75% currently to 50% by 2025.
For solar, the cumulative target for 2023 is relatively ambitious and certainly achievable. France currently has just over 6.2 GW of cumulative PV capacity installed – according to official figures from grid operator RTE – and added just under 1 GW of capacity in 2015. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) expects France to add around, or just above, 1 GW of new capacity this year, but the hope is that these new tenders will accelerate that pace of installation.
Image: solar panels in French garden via Shutterstock