Prices Fall in France’s Latest 600 MW Solar and Wind Auction

The projects are expected to generate around 1 TWh clean energy annually


France has selected nearly 100 solar and wind energy projects with a cumulative capacity of 600 MW in its latest auction.

According to France’s Ministry of Ecological Transition, these projects will benefit from public support in the form of a guaranteed purchase tariff for the electricity produced.

The ministry’s statement noted that despite COVID-19, the tenders received an enthusiastic response and received more applications than the volumes offered. The statement added that the prices have also come down sharply compared to previous tenders, confirming the drop in costs and competitiveness of the sector.

The government selected 45 ground-mounted solar projects, with a cumulative installed capacity of 332 MW. The chosen projects’ average tariff is €57.4 (~$ 68.10)/MWh, a 7.4% decrease compared to the previous session. It also selected 31 self-consumption solar projects with a total capacity of 9 MW. The average tariff for these projects stood at €13.8 (~$ 16.36)/MWh, a decrease of 14% compared to the previous auction.

The ministry also selected 23 wind projects with an aggregate installed capacity of 258 MW at an average tariff of €59.7 (~$ 70.83)/MWh. The average project price of the selected wind projects decreased by 4% compared to the previous auction.

Upon completion, these projects are expected to generate around 1 TWh of carbon-free energy annually to satisfy approximately 190,000 households’ electricity needs.

France has implemented support tariffs for renewable energy. Under this mechanism, France provides remuneration to renewable generators for 15-20 years.

Two procurement mechanisms in France:

  • The government directly buys the energy produced at a determined price
  • The producer sells the energy in the market, and the government compensates the difference between the market price and the guaranteed price

The ministry said that renewable energy projects for the first half of 2020 had been split into two periods. To complete the ongoing session, a new tender will be released for solar projects and wind projects in November 2020, it added.

Last month, France announced its plans to invest €100 billion (~$118.4 billion) to retrieve the economy from the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its ‘France Relance’ (France Relaunching) plan, the government has allocated €30 billion (~$35.51 billion) for the green energy sector.

Previously, France’s Data and Statistical Studies said that the country had added 379 MW of new solar capacity during the first half of 2020. These new installations were mainly concentrated in the southern part of the country. The total cumulative installations in France reached 10.3 GW at the end of June 2020.

Harsh Shukla is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.

More articles from Harsh Shukla.