France to spend €7bn on renewables by 2022

The French energy revolution is gearing up: from next year begins a €20 billion investment plan that will steer €7 billion into the country’s renewable energy industry, with the remaining €13 billion intended to improve the nation’s energy efficiency and lower the carbon output of its vehicle fleet.

These encouraging investment goals are part of a wider €57 billion plan to boost France’s economy over the next five years, and the sum earmarked for clean energies has been welcomed by France’s wind and solar industries.

Economist Jean Pisani-Ferry and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe drafted the spending plan with the goal of boosting France’s renewables footprint by 70%. Already this year the country has overseen a series of well-received solar tenders, not least the introduction of its 1.45 GW rooftop PV scheme.

In the first half of 2017 France installed a modest 233 MW of new PV capacity, taking the total amount of installed solar to 7.4 GW. The second half of the year is expected to see much brisker levels of installations as self-consumption and the new tenders make their impact felt.

Beyond renewables, France will give serious effort to altering its transport fleet, with the plan to phase out 10 million old vehicles registered before 1997 (petrol) or 2001 (diesel) and fund the construction of more electric vehicle charging stations and road improvements. Some of the €4 billion in funding will also assist low income households in exchanging old vehicles for newer, more environmentally friendly ones.