France issues new rules for agrivoltaics


From pv magazine France

The French government has published the long-awaited Decree No. 2024-318 in the country's official journal. The legislation defines the conditions for the installation of solar panels on agricultural, natural, or forest land.

It also contains a definition of agrivoltaics and places agricultural exploitation at the center of the debate. The new provisions state that an agrivoltaic facility should not negatively impact the potential of the soil and ensure an agricultural yield loss of less than 10%.

The rules also consider any installation that enables the return to agricultural or pastoral activity of unused agricultural land for over five years as improving the soil's agronomic potential.

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Agrivoltaic installations, except for livestock farming, must ensure that agricultural production achieves at least a 90% yield per hectare compared to a designated control zone. PV installations also cannot cover more than 40% of an agricultural plot surface.

The control zone, representing at least 5% of the installed agrivoltaic surface or up to one hectare, must be located nearby. However, this requirement may be waived for installations with a coverage rate below 40%, provided the operator shows the existence of a comparable agrivoltaic installation in the region.

The new provisions exclude the deployment of agrivoltaic systems in certain areas protected under the country's rural and maritime fishing code. This includes areas in which the departmental council has closed agricultural and forestry land development operations within the 10 years preceding the decree's publication, as well as other types of protected areas.

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