- In 2019, France installed 890 MW of new solar PV capacity, at the same level as previous year
- During Q4/2019, 200 MW was added registering an increase of 34.9% YoY
- Cumulative solar PV capacity of the country till the end of 2019 was 9,436 MW contributing to 53.61 GW of aggregate renewable energy capacity of France
- Solar PV accounted for 2.5% annual electricity consumption of the country with the total 9,436 MW
At the end of 2019, France reported a cumulative operational solar PV capacity of 9,436 MW after adding 890 MW last year. PV accounted for 2.5% of annual electricity consumption of the country, increasing its share from 2.3% in 2018. The cumulative capacity of 9.43 GW generated 11.6 TWh of solar power in 2019, increasing 7.8% from previous year, according to the national electricity transmission system operator RTE.
While 200 MW of solar PV came online during the last quarter of 2019, up 34.9% YoY, RTE says annual growth was at the same level as the year before. Third quarter of last year saw maximum capacity come online last year with 296 MW.
Overall, France added 2,347 MW of renewable energy capacity in 2019 to the aggregate renewable energy capacity of the country that reached 53.609 GW, comprising hydroelectricity, wind, solar PV and bioenergy. Together, this capacity covered 23% of French energy consumption in 2019, said RTE as against the national target of 40% by 2030.
Till December 2019, France had 6.667 GW of solar PV capacity under development, which is a promising sign as it represents 56%growth over the capacity under development at the end of 2018.
Nonetheless, the 9.43 GW is a far cry from what the country aims to achieve for its total solar PV capacity by 2023, which is planned to range between 18 GW to 21 GW, noted RTE. Finally, under the French multiannual energy program EPP France wants to have an installed solar PV capacity of 35.6 GW to 44.5 GW by 2028.
The government is focused on contracting developers through competitive tender rounds to award capacity towards reaching its goal. In 2020, the French environment ministry said it will launch tenders for 2 GW large scale solar capacity in addition to rooftop tenders (see France To Tender Around 2 GW Solar In 2020).
The latest and ninth round of the French rooftop solar PV auction concluded in February 2020 saw 306 projects lapping up 150 MW of 300 MW on offer. The average winning price for installations between 500 kW and 8 MW capacity was €86.17 per MWh ($0.094/per kWh), and for those between 100 kW and 500 kW it was €96.49 per MWh ($0.105 per kWh). The list of winning projects is available on the ministry’s website.
In October 2019, the eighth round was also undersubscribed as the ministry awarded 129.4 MW in the form of 268 projects (see France Awards 129.4 MW In Solar Tender).