France doubles target for new solar electricity projects
France's energy ministry is taking action to boost its solar energy industry, aiming to reach an annual new capacity installation target of at least 1GW, doubling the previous target.
The move follows the government's declaration of increased support for the renewables industry following a series of debates on the environment and energy transition held in September of last year (see EDEM 26 September 2012).
According to a statement issued by the ministry on Monday, 400MW will be developed as a result of the next tender for installations of over 250KW, with priority given to projects using French technology.
The development of solar power installations of between 100KW and 250KW will benefit from a government tender with "improved conditions", said the statement. As a result of this tender, 120MW of facilities in this range will be brought on line in 2013.
The move follows only 109 proposals during the second solar tender, equating to 21MW of capacity (see EDEM 11 September 2012).
France plans another solar generation tender this year, targeting other innovative forms of technology, according to the statement.
In addition, the ministry outlined plans for installations of less than 100KW to get purchasing prices, adjusted quarterly, doubling the annual target for capacity from 200MW to 400MW.
France has 3.1GW of solar installed capacity, according to French renewable energy lobby group SER. The group warned last month that growth in solar capacity was at its lowest level for three years. Since 2010, total installed capacity increased more than 12 times, but growth plateaued in the third quarter of 2009 and has steadily decreased since (see EDEM 7 December 2012). BM/ZD
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