In the recent working group organized by the French government with all players in the French solar industry, delivering more volumes to the market was highlighted as a number one priority.
Several entities within the French administration are currently considering the construction of solar parks in their own premises, according to information provided to pv magazine by Xavier Daval, vice-president of the French association of renewable energies SER and CEO and president of KiloWattsol SAS.
According to him, public institutions were in favor of solar during the first workshops of the “Working Group for Solar Energy” announced last month by the French government, and organized with the entire photovoltaic sector of the country. The workshops see the participation of officials from local, regional and central institutions, including important ministries such as the ministries of Defense, Agriculture and Finance.
“Most public entities in France have unused land or property, which can be made available to further stimulate solar development, while reducing their electricity supply expenditure,” Daval stressed.
The reason for such interest, explained Daval, is to find in the recognition that solar photovoltaic is the most profitable renewable energy and that large volumes are needed to support the French energy transition. This priority was expressed by most of the participants in the working groups, and supported by the French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition (MTES), Nicolas Hulot through the official increase from 1.45 to 2.45 GW of the annual capacity allocated to solar invitations to tender.
“We strongly believe that an annual market of 3 GW is very reasonable, and we want to go there,” Daval said.
In its wishlist presented at a series of workshops, the SER also called on the government, among others, to increase capacity beyond that foreseen by the current tenders, while maintaining differentiation at the within project-type tenders, and reduce red tape for project development, thereby speeding up approval procedures.
Another interesting suggestion proposed by Daval was the possibility of replicating in France the Technology Top Runner program implemented by the Chinese central government. The program, designed to promote quality and innovation in the large-scale solar segment, is expected to reach 5 GW of operational photovoltaic capacity by the end of this year in China. It sets high standards for PV conversion efficiency, decay rate and many other key specifications related to efficient PV installations.
Daval believes that a similar initiative could be possible in France. “Our solar community would benefit from such a win / win program providing a market and references to European innovations,” Daval explained.
In total, five workshops are set up within the framework of the solar working group: self-consumption; industry; solar heating; land and permits; the overseas territories and Corsica. “The vocation of the working group reflects the real change in mentality towards solar energy at the highest level in France, there is now an open channel of communication between us and the political decision-makers”, Daval concluded.
France had reached around 8 GW of installed photovoltaic capacity at the end of last year, according to the latest statistics published by the Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition (MTES).
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