France reaches 20 GW of photovoltaics (PV)

France reaches milestone with 20 GW of solar PV capacity in 2023, demonstrating its commitment to renewable energy. Regional contributions and future perspectives are highlighted.
France has marked an important milestone in its renewable energy journey by connecting approximately 955 MW of new photovoltaic systems to the grid in the last quarter of 2023, according to the Ministry of Ecological Transition. This increase in solar power capacity brings the country’s cumulative installed PV capacity to an impressive 20.0 GW by the end of December 2023, highlighting a clear commitment to sustainable energy sources.

The addition of 3.2 GW of new solar capacity in 2023 represents a notable increase compared to the 2.68 GW added in 2022 and 2.57 GW in 2021, demonstrating France’s accelerated efforts in the development of the solar energy. With most of the capacity, around 19.3 GW, located on the French mainland and the rest distributed across overseas territories and Corsica, France is diversifying its energy portfolio across several regions. The total capacity of solar projects pending connection to the grid has also seen a significant increase, reaching 22.4 GW, of which 5.8 GW have preliminary connection agreements.
The regions of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Grand Est have been particularly active contributors to national solar capacity, accounting for 48% of all newly connected capacity in the current year. . These regions not only lead in terms of new connections, but also represent more than 53% of France’s total cumulative solar energy capacity as of December 2023. This regional approach not only improves local energy sustainability but also contributes to national energy security and independence.
As France continues to expand its solar energy infrastructure, the country faces the challenge of integrating this renewable energy into the national grid in an efficient and sustainable manner. The significant queue of solar projects awaiting grid connection underlines the growing interest and investment in solar energy, but also highlights the need to improve grid capacity and flexibility. With regions such as Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Grand Est leading the way, France is poised to continue its journey towards achieving higher renewable energy goals.

France’s achievement of a 20 GW solar capacity milestone is not just a number; represents the country’s firm commitment to reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to a more sustainable energy future. As the nation hopes to continue expanding its solar energy capacity, the lessons learned and successes achieved offer valuable information for other countries looking to increase their reliance on renewable energy sources.