France’s energy record is already very good – it has one of the lowest carbon footprints in Europe and is meeting its Kyoto Treaty obligations. France has seen energy consumption (calculated per unit of GDP) fall dramatically, with a reduction every year since 1982. It is already a world leader in other forms of renewable energy (producing 13% of its energy through renewables in 2004, notably through hydropower and biomass). PV growth has accelerated in the past year, as attractive tax rebates and other measures have taken effect. Further rapid growth in PV capacity in France is expected over the next decade.
While other European nations are nowadays discovering that they are too reliant on supplies of gas delivered from Russia and Central Asia, the French government has already set strategic targets for its overall energy policy. In the Energy Act of 2005, France established the following goals: to safeguard France’s energy independence and security of supply; to ensure competitive prices for industry and private consumers; and, finally, to fight against climate change and protect the environment.
The French government is promoting PV energy through feed-in tariffs – a rate paid to consumers for power fed back into the grid. At present this runs at €0.30/kWh in mainland France, with higher rates in Corsica and overseas départements (such as Martinique). Global trends in PV development favour small-scale, Building Integrated PV (BIPV) applications – and the government recognises this, by adding a premium for such schemes, reimbursing €0.55/kWh for BIPV generation.
Thanks to tax credits of up to 50% for PV production equipment, as well as the most attractive R&D tax credit climate in the whole of Europe, a number of new companies are expected to set up, or team up with French companies in order to develop the next generation of PV arrays.
One UK-based player that is already about to benefit from the predicted growth in PV sales is Europe's leading solar-energy company, Solarcentury, which specialises in building integrated solar-energy products. In March 2007, Solarcentury set up its French subsidiary in La Rochelle (in western France). According to Derry Newman, CEO, “The feed-in tariff in France is by far the most effective in Europe. With regional grants available in some areas on top of that, France is a very attractive market for us. Our building-integrated solar products are being specifically accredited for commercial and residential buildings in France, as we are determined that a wide variety of individuals and their buildings are given the very best opportunity to go solar.”
Kate Ambler | alfa
Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy