France will guarantee tariff support for 341 MW of solar projects after the completion of an oversubscribed auction with reduced prices compared to previous rounds.
The country’s Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, announced the results, which saw the selection of 45 ground-based photovoltaic parks totaling 332 MW, with an average price of € 57.4 / MWh (US $ 68 / MWh) , down 7.4% compared to the last French auction.
31 other self-consumption solar projects totaling 9 MW have an average price of € 13.8 / MWh, a decrease of 14%.
The ministry said that the lower prices offered by the winning projects compared to previous sessions “confirms the lower costs, dynamism and competitiveness” of renewable energies.
Including wind developments, the auction means that additional renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 600 MW will receive public support in the form of a guaranteed feed-in tariff for the electricity produced during 15 to 20 years old. Another round of auctions is due to take place in November for ground-based photovoltaic and wind projects.
The French association of renewable energies Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables (SER) declared that the “very satisfactory” results both in terms of prices and subscribed volumes illustrate the need for long-term support mechanisms to help the country meet its climate commitments.
The results “also confirm that France is today capable of leading the energy transition and fighting against climate change on the basis of extremely competitive renewable technologies”, declared the president of the association, Jean-Louis Bal.
SER figures revealed that while France’s installed photovoltaic capacity reached 9.43 GW at the end of 2019, it has barely four years to meet the country’s target of 18-21 GW. Beyond that, the government is asking for up to 44.5 GW by 2028.
The French solar sector could be boosted by the new coronavirus recovery plan, which will see some 30 billion euros devoted to an “ecological transition” and will also be the spearhead of the production of low carbon hydrogen.