If France achieves its goal of completely decarbonizing its energy system and economy by 2050, solar could then reach an installed photovoltaic capacity of between 70 GW and 208 GW, according to a new report from the French grid operator Réseau de Transport d ‘Electricity (RTE).
The document includes the results of a consultation that RTE launched in January to which it received 4,000 responses from institutions, groups and individuals. Six scenarios making it possible to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 have been outlined and, for each of them, RTE analysts have envisaged an expected decrease in energy consumption and an increase in the share of electricity and use of renewable energies. In addition, they took into account data on electricity consumption, the future of nuclear power and the role of hydrogen, among other factors.
Three of the scenarios describe the country’s energy system as being 100% renewable, with nuclear power being completely decommissioned by 2050 or, at the latest, by 2060. Three other scenarios, on the other hand, consider l nuclear energy as always playing a part in the energy mix, with different levels of investment in new nuclear capacities.
In the six scenarios, solar will see its share multiplied by a factor of between seven and 21 and its cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity will reach between 70 GW and 208 GW by 2050.
According to recent figures from the French Ministry of Ecological Transition, the country’s cumulative installed solar power had reached 11.5 GW. The total is still quite far from the 2030 target of 20 GW, as part of the national energy strategy.