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
Silicon solar cell of ISFH yields 25% efficiency with passivating POLO contacts
08.12.2016 | Institut für Solarenergieforschung GmbH
Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer IFAM
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine