France is setting ambitious targets for a sustainable power supply. Calls for tender for photovoltaics from the government alone will result in new installations with a total capacity of 3 GW (gigawatts) by 2019. And if things go the way the French government hopes, this is only the beginning. The aim is to increase the share of renewables in the power supply from 19.5%, as it stands today, to 32% by 2030. This will see France increasingly becoming a leading market in Europe. With three strong partners, Intersolar Europe is placing a particular focus on international exchange: The French-German Office for Energy Transition (DFBEW), Business France and the National Solar Energy Institute (INES) are involved in a range of program events at the exhibition, including an international networking event on June 1, 2017. Additionally, a number of French companies and research organizations will be represented at the Business France and INES shared booths.
France had a strong presence at Intersolar Europe in 2016: With 35 exhibitors, the country ranked third in terms of number of exhibitors after Germany and China. And with 1,400 visitors, France also finished in third place for international visitor numbers – just slightly behind Switzerland and Italy. This looks set to increase in 2017, as the French market increasingly gains momentum across Europe.
With an expected deployment of around 7.1 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity in 2016, the European market maintains its high standard and also demonstrates its continuing innovative strength in technology. The current impulses from the growing market in France are another important signal for the industry. The French government’s targets are ambitious and the market incentives laid out in the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, passed around a year and a half ago, are increasingly beginning to take effect. The associated multi-year program plan sets the first intermediate targets for 2023. According to this, the portfolio of PV installations should more than triple by then, corresponding to an average deployment of 1.5 GW per year.
Visitors and exhibitors are welcome to attend the international networking event
In addition to market growth, France also plays an important role in Europe technologically. The country has been intensively driving forward the development of smart power grids and related technologies since 2008 – through pilot projects, as well as with over 500 million euros of research grants and financial incentives provided by the government during this time. France has invested more in the development of smart grids than any other country in Europe. After the French market received considerable attention as one of the key topics at Intersolar Europe in 2016, collaboration with French companies and organizations is set to grow even further in 2017. Sven Rösner, Deputy Managing Director of the DFBEW: “Over the course of the last 12 months, France has put further declarations from the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act into practice. In addition to creating a technology expansion corridor for the years to come, a more concrete tendering schedule for free-standing installations has been introduced, and the legal conditions for normal and collective on-site consumption have been put in place. These measures serve to strengthen the French market’s self-confidence; the number of foreign stakeholders is increasing. The target of achieving an annual deployment of around 2 GWp until 2018 and then 3-4 GWp of development in the country’s installed capacity every year after that seems ambitious. However it is legally binding.”
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