France has set a new target under which it will install 5GW of new PV capacity per year.

From pv magazine France

On Feb.10, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a vast nuclear recovery plan, with the construction of six new EPR2 type reactors in France. He also promised an acceleration in the development of renewable energy, with new targets for photovoltaics and wind power by 2050.

“We have fallen behind,” Macron acknowledged in a speech. “We will increase our efforts in particular on solar energy, as it is cheaper and can be more easily integrated into the landscape and, by 2050, we will multiply by nearly 10 the installed power to exceed 100GW by ensuring a fair balance between rooftop PV installations and those on the ground.”

He also pointed to the multiplication of regulatory hurdles.

“The approval process to build a solar park takes five years and its construction only takes a few months of work, such delays are unbearable. It will therefore be necessary to remove all the regulatory barriers from the moment the projects are accepted locally,” he said.

He also reiterated the need to “rebuild French industrial sectors, to produce all the techniques necessary for the deployment of solar energy. Because it must be said, 20 years ago, Europe, out of naivety or fatality, left to other continents the care of producing technologies and the industrial sectors that were behind these deployments.”

French solar association Enerplan described this as an important step.

“It is the recognition by the highest authority of the state of the preponderant role of solar in the decarbonized energy transition and in the future mixed electric. The objective of at least 100GW of installed solar power by 2050 is in line with Enerplan’s 2050 program which will be published in March.”

Daniel Bour, the president of Enerplan, praised the speech.

“For the first time, a president is announcing the massive role of solar power in the future mix of electricity. What a long way since 2011, the year of the moratorium when the sector almost disappeared. More than ever, we are mobilized to catch up with the delay taken by France and reach this objective of 100GW in 2050 –  that is, plus-5GW/year of new connected solar capacity.”