Solar Tribune

France doubles PV target for 2013


France recently doubled its target capacity for PV power generation to 1,000 MW in 2013, and offered more financial assistance to PV power facilities that use European-made panels.

The country’s Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Delphine Batho, said the measures are expected to reestablish the French solar sector and stimulate investments amounting to more than 2 billion Euros ($2.6 billion), while simultaneously cutting the industry trade deficit that has grown to 1.35 billion Euros ($1.8 billion).

French President Francois Hollande is looking to rescue a solar industry that lost 15,000 jobs in the last two years, after the previous government scaled back support for PV installations. In 2012, the solar industry had a total of 18,000 employees, down from 32,500 in 2010.

Photo Credit: CalFinder

“Many jobs were lost because of the (former) government’s yo-yo policies. But we will fight to develop the ecological competitiveness of France,” said Batho.

According to Jean-Louis Bal, head of the country’s main renewable energy sector lobby SER, the planned measures would help the industry survive in the short-term, but does not provide a long-term solution.

However, he added that this is the first positive message from the French government in over three years.

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