- French solar PV additions during H1/2021 were a total of 1.367 GW, representing over 217% annual increase
- Higher proportion of connections from large scale solar power plants and an increase in the number of connections was attributed for this increase
- At the end of June 2021, total installed solar power capacity of France increased to 12.573 GW, comprising 12.133 GW in mainland France
The French Data and Statistical Studies Department (Données et Etudes Statistiques, SDES) says the country installed 1.367 GW of new PV capacity in H1/2021, having grown significantly on annual basis from 431 MW in H1/2020. Previously, it had pegged the PV addition for H1/2020 at 379 MW (see France Added 379 MW New Solar Capacity In H1/2020).
It attributes this more than 217% annual increase to an increase in the number of connections and a high proportion of connections from large scale solar power plants. Installations of more than 250 kW capacity comprised 66% of all new connected capacity. Installations smaller than 9 kW represented close to 83% of all new capacity.
Of the 1.367 GW brought online in the form of 29,388 installations, SDES said 713 MW was installed in Q1/2021, coming down to 654 MW in Q2/2021. It takes the country’s cumulative installed PV capacity to 12.573 GW in the form of 530,261 installations. According to the SDES, of the cumulative 12.573 GW, 12.133 GW came from capacity installed in mainland France.
Solar energy production during H1/2021 amounted to 7.6 TWh, having grown from 6.8 TWh a year back, thanks to excess sunshine in the country. At the end of June 2021, solar production represented 3.1% of the country’s electricity consumption, growing slightly from 3.0% compared to H1/2020.
SDES shared that the total capacity of projects in queue stood at 8.8 GW, including 2.9 GW with grid connection agreements.
Recently, the European Commission cleared an additional €5.7 billion aid scheme for France to support 3.7 GW small scale rooftop solar till 2026, after already having approved €30.5 billion aid that will enable the country to auction 34 GW new renewables capacity between 2021 and 2026 (see EU Approves French Rooftop Solar Scheme).