Photovoltaic: France revised feed-in tariffs

The French government has published new tariffs for solar electricity, by revising the rules for projects submitted in the past few months. The French government explains that the measure is due to the fact that the anticipation of future prices caused speculations, in November and December 2009, which made photovoltaics prices rise.

Hence for all projects presented after November 1st. 2009 – regarding which the grid-connection process was not yet completed by January 11th. 2010 – a new application must be submitted asking to beneficiate of discounted rates.

The new rates include a purchase price which, according to the French government, is the highest in the world: 0.58 euros/kWh for systems integrated into residential buildings, schools or hospitals, and 0.50 euros/kWh for systems integrated into all other types of buildings (at industrial, commercial or agricultural sites, offices, etc.).

The rate set for non-fully integrated systems (so-called "simple integration") is 0.42 euros/kWh.

Ground-mounted installations will receive a tariff at € 0.31 euros/kWh. In fact, this type of plant will have variable rates that change from one region to the other, depending on the insulation of the area. Where there is greater insulation, rates rise to 0.377 euros/kWh. Finally, administrative procedures have been greatly simplified.

These new rates apply to new projects and will be applied for the years 2010 and 2011. Starting from 2012, an indexing mechanism will be implemented aiming at gradually reducing incentives according to the expected technology efficiencies and costs reductions due to scale economies.