French solar energy generation in 2012 saw some big gains.
According to the 2012 French Electricity Report, 4 terrawatt hours (Twh) of solar energy came from photovoltaic systems, making up for 0.79% of France’s energy demand last year.
Meanwhile 1.022 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy was installed, boosting the overall solar capacity to 3.5 GW.
The report noted that the leaps and bounds made by solar in France is helping to boost the country’s overall renewable energy mix to 16.4%.
As the sixth overall global solar PV market in 2012, France is looking toward solar as an energy source to get its country away from nuclear fuel dependency. French president Francois Hollande said last fall he hopes to cut France’s nuclear demand from 75% to 50% by 2025, while in the next few months rolling out a new solar strategy to give underlying support.
Nuclear still made up nearly three-quarters of the country’s energy demand last year, despite generating 3.8% less in 2012.
With the new French President Hollande in charge, and nuclear power far more expensive and unpopular as an alternative, French solar energy may well be positioned to continue to nibble away at nuclear’s dominance.
A University of Winnipeg graduate who received a three year B.A. with a combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications. Currently attempting to be a freelance social media coordinator. My eventual goal is to be a clean tech policy analyst down the road while I sharpen my skills as a renewable energy writer. Currently working on a book on clean tech and how to relate it to a broader audience. You can follow me on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or at www.adammjohnston.wordpress.com