• For Q1/2020, mainland France added 176 MW of new solar PV capacity, as per France Territoire Solaire
  • The pandemic pushed down quarterly installations from 205 MW in the previous quarter
  • Sharp decline was seen in large scale installations for project sizes of 1 MW and above while 250 kW to 1 MW and 9 kW to 100 kW capacity ranges saw some growth

In the first 3 months of 2020 France installed around 176 MW of new solar PV capacity on the mainland, a decrease of over 14% from Q4/2019 when it reported new additions of 205 MW, according to France Territoire Solaire, a French solar think tank. It attributes this drop in installations to the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis, however, Q1/2020 was the second consecutive quarter to report a decline in installations – in  Q3/2019, 281 MW were deployed.

Together the 176 MW came about with 6,500 system installations in the self-consumption segment, as per its analysis. The capacity is spread out in the following categories for Q1/2020, having increased or decreased the growth compared to the last quarter:

  • 23 MW of residential rooftop systems of >9 kW capacity (slight drop)
  • 66 MW of medium-sized systems of between 9 kW to 100 kW capacity (increase)
  • 15 MW of large rooftop segment of 100 kW to 250 kW range (further drop)
  • 6 MW of very large rooftop segment of 250 kW to 1 MW slight (slight increase), and
  • 63 MW of large scale installations of 1 MW and above (down sharply)

The last category on this list, 1 MW and above systems, represents 36% of the total volume during the quarter.

At the end of February 2020, France had 1.2% share of solar PV power generation capacity in the national energy mix, as per the analysis. A detailed presentation is on the think tank’s website.

French electricity transmission system operator RTE had pegged 2019 PV installations of the country at 890 MW taking the cumulative to 9,436 MW (see France Again Missed GW PV Level In 2019). If the numbers will not significantly improve over the course of the year, France will again remain a solar market smaller than 1 GW per year.