Small Capacities Make Up 22% of 601 MW of Solar Added in France in Q1 2023
The country has a cumulative installed solar capacity of 17.15 GW as of March 2023
France installed 601 MW of solar capacity in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023, compared to 596 MW installed in the same period of the previous year.
Solar generated 3.6 TWh of power in Q1 2023 from the 3.2 TWh during the same period in 2022.
Solar generation accounted for 2.7% of France’s electricity consumption, representing 0.5% year-over-year growth.
France has a total installed solar capacity of 17.15 GW as of March 31, 2023, with 16.4 GW in mainland France.
The regions of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and Grand Est played a significant role in expanding solar power during Q1 2023. Collectively, these regions accounted for 63% of the newly connected capacity in the country.
Approximately 40% of the generated power in Q1 2023 came from new installations exceeding 250 kW, despite representing only 0.2% of the total number of new connections. Installations of smaller sizes, specifically those below 9 kW, constituted 93% of the newly connected units, contributing to 22% of the new power capacity.
In mainland France, 38.1% of photovoltaic installations, accounting for 7.6% of the installed power, were from captive power projects, showing a 1.1% increase compared to the previous quarter. Captive project installations generated 104 GWh of photovoltaic electricity, representing 2.9% of the total photovoltaic production for the quarter.
The pipeline projects’ capacity has grown significantly, rising by 10% since the beginning of the year to reach 18.5 GW. Among these projects, 4.4 GW has already secured a signed connection agreement.
The European Parliament and the Council have provisionally agreed to raise the European Union’s binding renewable target to a minimum of 42.5% by 2030, up from 32%. It would mean doubling the existing share of renewables in the EU.
Last year, the Commission proposed the rooftop solar initiative mandating all new public, commercial, and residential buildings to install solar in a phased manner.