/5th January 2020, Sun'Agri, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/ The French Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) has announced the results of its third “innovative solar photovoltaic” call for tenders. Thirty-one winning projects are agrivoltaic systems, 72% of which correspond to 22 projects using Sun'Agri technology, a breakthrough innovation allowing agriculture to adapt to climate change. This call for tenders confirms French ambitions in terms of agrivoltaic systems.

France installed 890 MW of new solar PV capacity in 2019. The year 2020 marks a decisive turning point for agrivoltaics in France. The announcement at the end of December 2020 by CRE of these 31 new agrivoltaic projects confirms the public authorities' interest in this flagship innovation for agriculture. It also reinforces the Cultivons Demain Initiative. launched on November 5 to equip 300 French farms by 2025.

The principle of dynamic agrivoltaics placing the crops sheltered from the vagaries of the weather thanks to mobile solar louvres placed above the plants and at a sufficient height to allow optimal ventilation as well as the passage of agricultural machinery. Solar shutters are at the service of the plant: controlled using algorithms tailored to the needs of the plant, they tilt according to the need for sunshine or shade. In doing so, the production of electricity is deliberately de-optimized in favour of the plant, a priority.

These winners' announcement confirms the positioning taken by Sun'Agri in 2019, which now acts as a development and agrivoltaic services provider on behalf of farmers and their investor partners (investment funds or electricity producers). This is the case of the Râcines platform, co-founder with Sun'Agri of the Cultivons Demain Initiative and winner of 16 projects in this call for tenders, which invests alongside farmers in agrivoltaic projects developed by Sun'Agri according to a very demanding charter.

Also, two winning projects led by independent producers, Générale du Solaire and Samsolar, will use Sun'Agri's technology, the latter ensuring the agrivoltaic design of the project and the management of the panels throughout the operating period. For the first time, Sun'Agri will also provide its services to a farmer who will fully finance his system himself without recourse to third party investors. Overall, these 22 farms in the south of France, mainly wine and arboriculture, shall be equipped with Sun'Agri technology, with a total installed capacity of 58 MW.

In France, electricity from renewable sources is promoted through a feed-in tariff, a premium tariff as well as through tenders for the definition of the premium tariff level. Additionally, tax benefits are also available. The Act on Energy Transition for Green Growth has thoroughly modified the former support system for renewable energies from 1 January 2019. France’s Parliament in March 2019 has given final passage to a law that regulates the installation of renewable energy systems for self-consumption. The new legislation will provide a clear regulatory framework for the grid-connection of these installations. 

The more information and answers to your questions about the French Solar Power market and related content you may read here: Europe Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market Outlook 2020 ÷ 2030

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