The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Conservative French Government Again Proposes Higher Solar PV Tariffs

For the second time within twelve months the French Government of conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed raising the feed-in tariff for solar PV in the coming year.

The new provisions are contained in the specific regulations proposed in response to Minister for Energy and the Environment Jean-Louis Borloo's announcement last November.

The proposed regulations depart both from the current program and from the provisions outlined by Borloo in November, 2008 in significant ways.

The draft regulations propose a tariff for a new application category of solar PV used architecturally. The tariff, if approved, will be among the highest, if not the highest in the world for solar PV: €0.602/kWh [CAN $0.95/kWh, US $0.86/kWh]. As one would expect, this has created quite a buzz in the solar community.

Potentially more groundbreaking, however, is the French proposal to offer solar PV tariffs for commercial projects (systems greater than 250 kW) differentiated by solar resource intensity.

Wind energy tariffs in both France and Germany have varied by resource intensity since 2000. This would be the world's first application of the concept to solar PV tariffs.

If successful in the diverse climates of France, the concept could have application in countries spanning continental land masses such as Canada, the USA, China, and Australia.

In principle, France will pay up to 20 percent more for solar PV generation in the cloudy north than in the sun-drenched south, for example along the Côte d'Azur.

The final tariffs are determined by the application of an insolation factor that varies by Departement. For example, systems installed in the southern city of Avignon in the Departement of Vaucluse will receive the base tariff of €0.328/kWh [CAN $0.52/kWh, US $0.47/kWh).

In Paris, the tariff is based on an insolation factor of 1.15 times the base tariff or €0.377/kWh [CAN $0.59/kWh, US $0.54/kWh]. To the north of Paris in the Departement of the Somme, the insolation factor proposed in the draft regulation reaches a maximum of 1.20 and the tariff rises to €0.394/kWh [CAN $0.62/kWh, US $0.57/kWh].

The maximum proposed tariff in the program is approximately equivalent to that proposed in Ontario for similar systems. There are no tax subsidies in either France or Ontario for projects of this size.

Despite these innovative features and the fact that there is no cap or limit on the program's size, the proposed regulations reflect uniquely French political preferences, charge critics.

In Germany solar PV tariffs are simply graduated by size. The German Solar Industry Association reports that nearly 30 percent of capacity (~1,500 MW) has been installed on residential rooftops, and another 50 percent (~2,500 MW) installed on farm buildings and multi-family residences.

Thus, say critics, the Tuetonic program is more egalitarian than that in the land of "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité".

In contrast to German policy, the proposed French program, will severely limit residential solar systems, charge two of France's most prominent advocates of solar energy: Hespul and CLER (Comité de Liaison Energie Renouvelables).

Hespul, located in France's solar city of Lyon, specializes in energy efficiency and solar PV. (Hespul installed the first grid-connected solar PV system in France.) CLER is the principal umbrella group representing the renewable energy industry and solar advocates.

The two organizations issued a joint communiqué September 10, 2009 applauding the proposal for its innovative features, but criticizing its shortsightedness. The proposal fell well short of what's needed, they said, and unduly favors multi-national developers over small distributed generators.

Residential rooftop solar systems are limited to less than 3 kW and the tariff, €0.338 (CAN $0.52/kWh, US $0.47/kWh), is insufficient in much of France, says Hespul's Marc Jedliczka, even with tax subsidies. He warns that the current proposal will miss reaching the 14 million French rooftops that could use solar.

For its part, CLER characterized the proposed tariffs as "unfair to the many for the benefit of the few".

Further, the French program has odd twists that limit the effectiveness of solar. In a bow to misplaced aesthetic sentiments, rooftop panels must be in the "plane of the roof". Often that will mean the panels must be flat and not mounted on racks.

These oddities greatly restrict the solar PV market in France, said Hespul and CLER.

The regulations must be approved by Minister Borloo sometime this fall to take effect in January, 2010.

Higher Solar Feed-in Tariffs Part of Aggressive New French PV Program

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

How India Goes Solar Could Change the World

Susan Kraemer, Correspondent Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposals for a draft National Renewable Energy Act raising renewable deploymen...

Listen Up: Questions You May Ask About Rooftop Solar

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 15 years talking to homeowners about rooftop solar. More kitchen table chats a...

Changing Power Market Dynamics Open Up New Opportunities for STE

Frederick Redell There are two major tends driving the U.S. power sector. First, a large number of new technologies are becoming comme...

U.K. Plans to End Aid to Small-Scale Renewables in Blow to Solar

Alex Morales, Bloomberg The U.K. proposed to end an assistance program for small-scale renewable energy projects as part of a drive to cut th...

PRESS RELEASES

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Early Bird Registration Deadline for GRC Annual Meeting is This Week

The deadline for early-bird rates for registration for the biggest annual geothermal ev...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

FEATURED BLOGS

Transitioning to Net-Zero Living

Judith and Jeffrey adore living in Belfast, Maine – a quaint harbor town of Belfast, Maine. They previously res...

The True Cost of Electric Vehicles in Australia

In order to avoid increased congestion, further greenhouse warming and lessen Australia’s reliance on imported ...

The Coming Multi-trillion Dollar Energy Investment Drive

In coming years, a multi-trillion dollar low-emission energy investment drive will get underway. Three catalysts wil...

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a concise statement that grabs attention and communicates value, ideally leading to a next step...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Paul Gipe has written extensively about renewable energy for both the popular and trade press. He has also lectured widely on wind energy and how to minimize its impact on the environment and the communities of which it is a part. For his efforts,...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

1-1/2 Day Photovoltaic System Fundamentals Workshop

Participants will learn how to assess the solar resources available at a...

Solar Power International 2015

International Energy and Sustainability Conference 2015

The fourth International Energy and Sustainability Conference will be he...

COMPANY BLOGS

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a concise statement that grabs attention and commu...

3 Reasons To Follow-Up

It’s very important to begin nurturing your relationship with a cu...

We’re Going to Need a Bigger Team

When Hillary Clinton made her ambitious plan to install more than a half...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS