Recommendations by French solar professionals to launch the national market

On the occasion of the symposium "Towards the development of the photovoltaic sector in France" organised by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, professionals propose concrete solutions to allow France to really launch its market similarily as its neighbour countries Germany or Spain.

On the occasion of the symposium "Towards the development of the photovoltaic sector in France" organised by EPIA, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, together with the French actors of the sector in Aix les Bains (Savoie, France), professionals propose concrete solutions to allow France to really launch its market, in a similar way to its neighbouring countries of Germany or Spain.

In 2007, the French photovoltaic (PV) market reached 35 megawatts (MW), against 2200 MW in Europe, 50% of which is German. Since 2006, France has adopted interesting feed-in tariffs for photovoltaic electricity. However, although very favourable to integrated applications, these tariffs neglect the more common and simpler installations (e.g.: system placed on rooftops). This measure slows down the development of the sector. Moreover, the time required, as well as constraints to connect to the grid, considerably limit development. On 31st March 2008, 70 MW PV systems were expected to be authorised, but only 2 MW received the green light at the time.

In order to allow a progressive and ambitious increase of the French market, professionals from the solar photovoltaic branch called to mind their recommendations during the symposium:

1/ Revise the Pluriannual Investments Plan (PPI)

Revise the objectives of the PPI to such a level to allow the development of a national photovoltaic industry: 1,100 MW in 2012 and 7,000 MW in 2020.

2/ Enlarge feed-in tariffs

For building integrated systems : maintain the current structure and level (0,57 €/kWh), as well as the eligibility criteria of the integration bonus;
For non-integrated systems: introduce a tariff of 0,45 €/kWh;
For ground-based systems : readjust the basic tariff (towards 0,38 €/kWh) to allow a sustained development of PV power-plants (up to 2,000 MW) ;
Maintain Over-seas support;
Maintain the tax credit system for installations for private owners;

3/ Simplification of administrative procedures

Simplification of administrative procedures with the creation of a one-stop-shop taking care of all necessary procedures;
Reinforce current measures favourable to PV in building and city planning codes.

The French photovoltaic symposium gathered together more than 500 professionals. It was organised by EPIA in partnership with ADEME (French Energy Agency), l'Institut National de l'Energie Solaire (INES), the Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables, ENERPLAN, HESPUL, with support of the Conseil Général de Savoie, the Rhônes Alpes Region, Savoie Economic Agency, Aix les Bains city. It kicked-off the Solar Event, organised for the general public, which took place from 27 to 29 June at Savoie Technolac in France.

About the European Photovoltaic Industry Association:

With over 170 Members drawn from across the entire solar electricity sector, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association represents over 95% of the European photovoltaic industry. EPIA members are present throughout the whole value-chain of the photovoltaic industry: from silicon, cells and module production to systems development. EPIA's mission is to deliver a distinct and valuable service driven from the strength of a single European photovoltaic voice.

Press contacts:

Europe: Marie Latour, EPIA: +32 (0)2 400 10 13 ou

France: Christel Leca: 04 78 45 75 49 ou

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