French PV tariff levels announced

Under the changes, all ground-mounted PV systems will receive a tariff of just €0.12 per kilowatt hour (kWh), as will rooftop systems over 100 kW in size.

However, the cuts for systems under 100 kW in size will not be reduced by ten percent each quarter as was originally reported. According to an official announcement, if the number of submitted projects is consistent with the government’s planned trajectory of 100 MW per year for the residential sector, and 100 MW per year for the non-residential sector, the tariff will be adjusted downwards by a maximum of 2.6 percent.

If the number of planned projects is less than this limit, the cuts will not be as severe. Conversely, if it is much higher, the cuts will be more than 2.6 percent. No more specific information has been released. However, in a statement the government did say the mechanism will allow the number of projects submitted to be controlled.

New tariff levels

The new tariff levels for rooftop systems up to 100 kW in size have been divided into three different categories: residential; education or health; and other buildings.

Each category then contains another two divisions, which have then been further divided into two sub-categories: (i) rooftop PV systems which, for example, have been professionally installed, and which, when removed, will not damage the roof, (a) ranging from zero to nine kW in size, and (b) ranging from nine to 36 kW in size; and (ii) PV systems which are, for example, built parallel to the plane of the roof, (a) ranging from zero to 36 kW in size, and (b) ranging from 36 to 100 kW in size.

The new rates can be found here.

Reasoning

Justifying the changes, the French Government has said, "The total installed capacity of photovoltaics in France was 81 MW in 2008, 261 MW in 2009 and 1,025 MW in 2010. Projects submitted to date amount to more than 6,000 MW. France is very far ahead of the implementation of the objectives of the Grenelle Environment Round Table [Grenelle de l’environnement] (1,100 MW installed by the end of 2012 and 5,400 MW in 2020)."