• France plans to achieve 20.6 GW of solar PV capacity by 2023, and 44.5 GW of solar PV capacity by 2028
  • Between 2019 and 2024, it plans to hold 17.2 GW of tenders for ground-mounted as well as rooftop solar capacity
  • For ground mounted solar projects, tenders will be launched in second and fourth quarters till 2024
  • Rooftop solar PV tenders will be launched thrice a year in the first 3 quarters as 300 MW capacity each

France has released the draft version of its ‘Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie’ or Multiannual Energy Program (EPP) and seeks consultation to define the energy path the country will follow over the course of the next 10 years. While the French solar market was rather disappointing in recent years, solar is expected to play a much bigger role. Starting from 2019 till 2024, the government plans to launch tenders for both ground-mounted as well as rooftop solar adding up to a cumulative of 17.2 GW.

A total of 900 MW of rooftop solar capacity will be tendered annually in the form of 3 separate tenders of 300 MW each, and launched in the first 3 quarters of the year till 2024. The first tender is scheduled for Q1/2019.

For ground-mounted systems, the government plans to tender 800 MW in Q2/2019, and 1 GW in Q4/2019. Thereafter, every second and fourth quarter of the year till 2024, it will launch tenders for 1 GW capacity each.

The share of renewable energy in the total electricity supply is planned to increase from 48.6 GW at the end of 2017 to 74 GW in 2023 and further scaled up to 102 to 113 GW by 2028. The share of PV in this target is 20.6 GW by 2023 and envisioned to be the highest among all technologies, reaching between 35.6 GW to 44.5 GW by 2028.

Onshore wind capacity is planned to increase to 24.6 GW by 2023 and to about 35.6 GW by 2028. Offshore wind will see the capacity growing to 2.4 GW and 5.2 GW by the 2 target years, respectively.

Self-consumption of electricity through rooftop PV will decentralize power in a structural way in the long run, relying less on the grid. Up to 100,00 solar rooftop systems could be installed by 2024. This will require new regulation, space planning and redesigned energy systems, it said.

On the other hand, it will shut down 4 to 6 nuclear reactors by 2028, including Fessenheim, where it has launched a tender for 300 MW solar PV capacity (see France 300 MW Solar Tender).  By 2035, it plans to close down a total of 14 nuclear reactors, bringing down its share in the total energy mix to 50%, from 75% now. The government originally had planned to reach the target by 2025.

A summary of the EPP is available on the website of the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition. The program will be discussed internally by various departments of the government post which public opinion will be invited, said the ministry.

French President Emmanuel Macron had announced plans for the EPP in November 2018,  targeting a 40% share of renewables in the country’s electricity mix by 2030.