France to install new PV limits

It has been said that despite the 500 MW cap, the industry can expect a much bigger market volume in terms of new PV installations over the next few years. This is due to the fact the new limit will only be applied to new PV projects.

In December, the country’s government announced that no new PV projects larger than three kilowatts would be approved until March. This meant a pipeline of around 3,400 MW of PV projects was on hold. However, it has been said that these systems shall now be installed bit by bit.

Consequently, between 1,000 and 1,500 MW of PV will be connected in both 2011 and 2012. This will be more than 2010, the government stated.

Furthermore, Prime Minister François Fillon announced a meeting with the national PV industry for 2012 to discuss the need for an expansion of the limit for new projects to 800 MW. Additionally, a revaluation of the annual limit shall take place every four months, taking into account the current installation ratio.

The feed-in tariffs will decline by 20 per cent for all new installations, Fillon added. The "ecological quality" will as well be a criterion for the approval of new projects as bank guarantees. The new scheme shall come into effect on March 10.