EU greenlights French support for commercial rooftop, large-scale PV

The European Commission has given the green light to three renewable incentive programs that are currently being implemented by the French government. Overall, the three schemes are expected to bring about 7.5 GW of renewable energy capacity online, the EC said in a press release. One of the three schemes is for onshore wind power, while another program is reserved for commercial PV installations ranging in size from 100 kW to 8 MW, in addition to auctions for large-scale ground-mounted PV projects.

“The support schemes for medium and large-scale solar and for onshore wind power will help France in its transition to a low carbon, environmentally sustainable energy supply. The measures are completed by a technology-neutral tender which will stimulate competition between solar and wind installations, and will help the EU reach its environmental objectives,” said the commissioner responsible for competition policy, Margrethe Vestager.

Under the scheme for commercial and industrial rooftop PV projects, the government is currently granting FITS to projects with a capacity between 100 kW and 500 kW and a feed-in premium tariff to PV projects ranging in size from 500 kW to 8 MW.

The auction scheme for large-scale solar could lead to the deployment of around 3 GW of PV capacity. Projects selected in the tenders will be granted feed-in premium tariffs over 20-year periods. The EU said that all of the schemes would include bonuses for local participation in the projects.

In May, the EC approved another new regulation in France for self-consumption. The support program is a FIT scheme for PV installations with a capacity of up to 100 kW that are installed for self-consumption. At the time, the EC said that the French government hopes to install up to 2.1 GW of new PV capacity under the scheme.