Country: France

Please find below latest updates as regards national policy and legal-administrative changes. For more information on these measures please contact the national association, contact details are available here

Overview of the French PV sector situation, as of 1st march 2014.

Launched in March 2013, results of the call for tender for large systems, above 250 kW, closed in September 2013, are still pending on the 1st march 2014. This call aimed 400 MW of projects, including: 200 MW for Innovative technologies (CSP and PV with trackers) 200 MW for mature technologies on roofs and shelters. For ground-mounted systems the call will favour reconversion areas (brownfields, old quarries, dumps, etc.) to avoid usage conflicts.

A new round of tender for large system is announced for end 2013 since September, but no information is available on the beginning of March 2014. This should favour technologies that are innovative and promote the local economy.

Another call for tenders for systems between 100 and 250 kW is in place since spring 2013, renewed every 4 months. Winners list of the 1st period, ended on the 30th october, has been published end February 2014. Power capacities offered through each round of the call are set to 40 MW.

Smaller installations (below 100 kW) were support, since January 2013, through a 10% bonus on the FIT depending upon where the systems come from (i.e. Europe). This measure will soon (mid-march 2013) be revoked. Despite this bonus, the FIT level is still decreasing every quarter depending on how much MW have been ask for grid connection. However, the overall tariff decrease will be limited to 20% per annum.

The French Finance Law for 2014 draws the finish line for sustainable development tax credit for residential PV.

The tax credit for energy production equipment in the residential segment is renewed in 2014 for renovations. However, the measure is no longer available for renewable energy systems that already benefit from other forms of public support or that are not widely distributed. In other words, PV systems benefiting from a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) mechanism will not be covered anymore.

The abrogation of the 11% tax credit is affecting the residential PV segment since the tax credit was an important incentive for PV systems in that segment in the last years.

January 2013 - Updated feed-in tariff levels published 

The decree of the 7th January 2013 (NOR : DEVR1302613A) on the Feed-in tariff level has been published on the 31th January. This decree set new FIT levels, especially for installation above 100 kWp, or without specific integration, or ground mounted. This FIT was decreased by 20%. This decrease will be applied to all projects which have asked for grid connection starting from 1st October 2013.

Impact on the Sector: This decree leads to a low FiT for specific installations, with a retroactive effect. Furthermore, this low FIT has also as consequence to downsize possibility for PV developers to work on this market segment.

Source: http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000027008867 

January 2013 - FiT bonus for EU sourced products. 

A decree published on 7th January 2013 (NOR : DEVR1302615A) has set a 5 to 10% bonus on the FIT for all type of installations if they meet specific requirements on EU origin of PV material.

Impact on the Sector: This decree should support the EU industry.

Source: http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000027008908 

April 2012 - Decree requires Regions to define a scheme to connect renewable energy sources to the grid

A decree published on 20th April 2012 (NOR : INDR1209289D) has set the obligation for all regions to define a scheme to connect renewable energy sources to the grid. These schemes will progressively be finished during 2013, and will act which specific investments on the grid are necessary are due to RES penetration. These schemes will define the way those investments will be shared between producers and grid operators. They apply to PV owners of systems above 36 kWp.

Impact on the Sector: PV owners of system above 36 kWp will have to pay a share of a dedicated grid connection fee to RES, this, on top of the grid connection fees.

Source: http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000025714484 

December 2010 - Moratorium: Government suspends the purchase obligation for PV systems above 3 kWp 

On  9 December 2010, through the Decree n° 2010-1510 the Government decided to suspend, for 3 months, the purchase obligation which applies to photovoltaic installations above 3 kWp.

Under specific criteria, PV projects which have accepted the quote for grid connection before the 2nd December 2010 have to be grid connected and commissioned within 18 months beginning from the quote acceptation, or 9 months if the quote has been accepted more than 9 months before the decree publication.

The moratorium ended on 4 March 2011 with the publication of a new Feed-in tariff decree, which applies to all PV systems up to 12 MWp.

Impact on the Sector:  The measure has led to the cancellation of many PV projects above 3 kWp. For a period of 3 months, many solar companies were unable to launch new projects due to the suspension of the purchase obligation.

Date of adoption: Decree n° 2010-1510 of 9 December 2010, published on the 10th.

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