More than 200 winning solar power projects, with 800 MW of total capacity, have been announced by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. Feed-in tariffs apply to the projects: the tariff for large rooftop solar projects is €129/MWh with €124/MWh for ground-mounted solar installations. It was reported that 50% of the new solar power projects will use PV panels made in France, and the new installations range in size up to 12 MW.
Originally, the amount of the solar power tender was 400 MW, but it was increased to 800 in part due to a decline in solar bid prices, which made them similar to those of wind power projects.
Quite a few of these projects are in the PACA region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, which is in the southeastern part of the country. Midi-Pyrénées is another project location; it is located in the south of France near Spain. Aquitaine is next to this region, but on the Atlantic coast, and a number of solar power projects were approved there as well. Two other locations are Champagne Ardenne, which is located in the northeast, and Rhone-Alps, in the southeast bordering Italy and Switzerland. If you want to see a list of all the projects, it has been published here.
Of course, France’s electricity is tied to nuclear power plants, but it has been reported or speculated that the whole country could generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. In November 2015, CleanTechnica reported about a 300 MW PV solar panel project that was developed in the Bordeaux region. It was called the largest solar PV power plant in Europe.
Currently, France generates about 75% of its electricity from nuclear power, but it has been reported that figure could decline to 50% by 2025. (Fifty-eight nuclear reactors produce the bulk of France’s electricity.)
Frances’s minister of the environment, Ségolène Royal, estimated there could be 100,000 jobs generated in the next three years in the green sector.
Image: Laurent Joffre, Wiki Commons
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