France may lower FIT threshold for rooftop PV from 500 kW to 100 kW

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From pv magazine France

France's DGEC, which is part of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, has sent a letter to French renewables associations Enerplan and SER requesting their opinions on two measures to reduce public expenditures related to France's FIT scheme for rooftop solar, which is currently open to PV systems up to 500 kW in size.

The DGEC is presenting two options to reduce the program's budget: creating a capacity cap or lowering the size limit from 500 kW to 100 kW. The second option would require installations above 100 kW to return to the tender scheme for large rooftop projects.

The DGEC said these requests are part of a more general approach of “reviewing renewable energy support systems” desired by the government.

Enerplan and SER said that the two options are acceptable, as they are in total contradiction with the commitments made in favor of the energy transition.

“A little over a month ago, ministers Bruno Le Maire and Roland Lescure jointly signed a press release confirming their support for renewable energy and highlighted their satisfaction at seeing the success of the FIT scheme,” said Enerplan.

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In the first quarter of 2024 alone, there were 1.2 GW of complete connection requests under the FIT program.

“Its abandonment would weaken hundreds of VSEs and SMEs in the country, in a segment whose dynamics are essential to achieving the objectives of the solar sector,” said Enerplan.

The PV sector has long criticized the French government for its lack of stability and visibility. Despite this, the government has welcomed the installation of two future gigafactories for solar cells and panels and has set a target of deploying 100 GW of PV by 2035.

“At a time when we were discussing the publication of the measures to support small ground-mounted solar power below 1 MW intended in particular to create a market for European solar panel factories, the government is now scuttling the FIT scheme,” SER President Jules Nyssen and Enerplan President Daniel Bour said in a joint statement.

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