September 3 (Solar) – France commissioned 479 MW of new solar parks in the first half of 2018, with cumulative grid-connected installations reaching 8,533 MW.
Fresh capacity additions in January-June came from 10,101 plants, data by the French Ministry of Ecology shows. Their combined capacity was 59% higher than in the first half of 2017 when 301 MW of facilities were brought online. Almost two-thirds of the newly-connected capacity, or 323 MW, comes from plants larger than 250 kW.
Solar power output in the six months climbed by 5% in annual terms to 4.6 TWh and photovoltaic (PV) power generation supplied 1.9% of the country’s electricity demand.
Under its Plan de programmation pluriannuelle de l'Energie, or PPE, France aims to reach an installed solar power capacity of 10,200 MW by end-2018. The target was 84% achieved as of the end of June. Of the total 8,533 MW of solar PV parks, some 8,146 MW are located in mainland France and 387 MW are in overseas territories. The regions with the highest installed capacities are New Aquitaine, 2,182 MW, Occitanie, 1,728 MW, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, 1,189 MW.
At the end of June, France had a pipeline of 24,116 solar projects with a combined capacity of 3,478MW. Of those, projects totalling 918 MW already have grid-connection contracts.