France halts large scale PV installations

The decision will reportedly remain in place until the government determines and submits a new framework for PV promotion, according to an official statement issued by the country’s Prime Minister, François Fillon. Installations up to three kilowatts will not be affected.

The reason cited is the unexpected growth of the PV market in France, with feed-in tariffs remaining high, and the costs to the government and consumers increasing.

In order to work against the speculative backlash, a new equilibrium has to be established, stated Fillon. He added that President Nicolas Sarkozy’s goal for the environment summit, or Environment Grenelle, will stay in sight despite the changes.

One of the goals remains to develop renewable energies to approximately 500 megawatts per year. Since the number of projects already registered is far above this goal, the definition of the new conditions are considered justified by the French government.

Fillon added that offshore wind energy will be developed to six gigawatts until 2020.

A further ministerial summit is scheduled to take place this year, where it has been said the modalities for the tenders of projects will be defined.