- According to French official agency Ademe, 17,764 neglected areas and car parks in the country offer an opportunity to install 53 GW of solar PV
- All the potential industrial, tertiary and commercial wastelands, polluted and neglected wastelands and car parks are located in Metropolitan France and Corsica
- Close to 70% of the selected sites offer small surface area with potential between 0.5 MW and 2.5 MW
- More than 23% of suitable area lies in regions with former deposits of hydrocarbon, over 5% of old commercial and industrial locations and more than 4% of old wastage storage sites
Ground mount installations on neglected areas in France offer 49 GW of combined PV potential. Add to that 4 GW offered by car parks and you get a whopping 53 GW potential for the technology to proliferate in the European country. Officially speaking, France is already aiming for a PV share of up to 45 GW by 2028 under its draft version of Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie’ (PPE) (see France Seeks Consultation On Energy Program). But at the moment the country is behind its plans – at the end of 2018, the cumulative installed solar PV capacity of France is estimated to have reached close to 9 GW.
The 53 GW potential opportunity is discussed in a study by the country’s Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (Ademe). It says this potential exists in Metropolitan France and Corsica. Ademe spots this opportunity in neglected areas in industrial, tertiary and commercial wastelands, other polluted and neglected sites excluding agricultural wastelands, and car parks for solar PV installations of more than 250 kWp capacity.
The authors of the study assessed 300,973 sites to determine 17,764 sites as having potential to host PV installations. More than 23% of suitable area lies in regions with former deposits of hydrocarbon, over 5% of old commercial and industrial locations and more than 4% of old wastage storage sites.
Almost 70% of the selected sites offer small surface area with potential between 0.5 MW and 2.5 MW hence rendering themselves less competitive than those that could host over 10 MW capacity solar power plants.
The study took into account technical-economic and administrative constraints to derive at this number, however it did not factor in any additional costs related to the rehabilitation of the sites as every site requires individual focus.
Ademe says the objective of the study is to determine and analyse the potential opportunity to ‘constitute a support element for public policies’.
The study can be viewed on the website of Ademe (Scroll down the attached study for and English version of executive summary).