France provides interim support for solar


France’s recently elected socialist government appears to be employing a different tone towards solar in the country, with an interim package being unveiled aiming to support the industry in the country. Energy minister Delphine Batho released the package today.

Reuters has reported on the new measures, indicating that annual installed capacity for photovoltaics will double to 1 GW in 2013. This still pales in comparison to the between 7 GW and 8 GW neighboring Germany looks likely to have installed in 2012, but it is a step in the right direction.

Furthermore, a bonus of up to 10% will be paid on top of current FITs for solar photovoltaics, for "small solar farms using panels made in Europe", Reuters reports.

The measures will take place when a decree is published later this year. They are seen as being interim measures as the new government formulates a wider energy policy framework.

Reuters has also reported that the head of Frances renewables lobby, Jean-Louis Bal has said that the measure is welcome news, in the near term. "It's the first positive message from the government in over three years," said Bal.

Minister Batho announced the measures at a solar factory in Western France. "Many jobs were lost because of the (former) government's yoyo policies. But we will fight to develop the ecological competitiveness of France," said Batho, as reported by Reuters.

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