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Global Solar PV Market Report

Key Regional Markets


Solar PV Capacity

17.4 GW

GDP (Current Prices) USD (2022)


GDP Growth Forecast (constant prices) (2023-2027)




Country Credit Rating (S&P)


Renewable Energy capacity (2022)


Solar PV Share in Renewables (2022)


Renewable Energy Target

Producing 33% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030

Achieving 100GW of solar PV capacity by 2050

GDP Source: IMF WEO, S&P and IRENA

Despite introducing eco-friendly laws and targets earlier than most of its peers, France has lagged in deploying solar modules in the past and is still struggling to reach its true potential due to the political and economic crisis. However, the French government has taken the initiative to promote renewable energy and reduce the dependency on nuclear/fossil energy. In its Multi-Annual Energy Programme (MAEP) the government has set the objective to achieve cumulative PV capacity of up to 35GW-44GW by 2028 and 100GW by 2050. Their ambition is strongly anchored on emerging technologies such as storage and applications like agrivoltaics, which are set to enhance solar’s momentum in France.


  • Favorable policy measures adopted by
    the French Legislators aim at simplifying procedures and reducing the deadlines applicable to renewable energies, thereby accelerating the development of renewables

  • The private investment is strengthening in the French solar market with the entry of new players as well as the expansion of projects under existing players


  • Time lag between the proposed plant and its implementation remains one of the major challenges faced by investors

  • Recent tender round for commercial and industrial rooftop installations remained largely undersubscribed

Renewable Energy Mix

Source: IRENA Renewable Capacity Statistics July 2023

The share of renewables in France’s total installed power capacity increased to 44.6% in 2022 from 42.6% in 2021. While wind and renewable hydropower are better represented than solar, accounting for a combined share of c.70% in the renewable energy mix in 2022, of solar energy is expanding at steady rate in the mix, showcased by growth from 18% in 2017 to 27% in 2022.

Installed Capacity: Status and Trend

Trend in Installed Solar PV Capacity


Source: Preqin Global Report 2023: Private Equity

2050 goal of carbon neutrality set by French government serves the base for growing renewable energy adoption in the country. Solar PV capacity in France maintained a steady growth trend during the last five years. However, the year 2022 shows a slight drop in capacity addition when 2.6GW of new capacity was added as compared to the record installation of 2.8GW in 2021. More than half (53.3%) of the cumulative solar capacity in 2022 came from installations above 250kW. However, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of PV self-consumption installations as well.

Installations under 36kW represent the second largest section of the market, accounting for 18.4%.

In order to aid the renewable sector, in H2 2021, European Commission (EC) approved French aid scheme with provisional budget of €30.5 billion. The scheme provides grants to renewable operators (including ground mounted and rooftop solar PV), awarded via competitive tenders for a cumulative new renewable capacity of 34GW that would be organised between 2021 and 2026. The scheme is estimated to mobilize a total of €5.7 billion till 2026.

Demand Drivers

Favourable policy measures along with fiscal incentives have been the primary driver for renewable deployment in France. The Renewable Energy Acceleration Bill adopted by the French Legislators in February 2023 aims at simplifying procedures and reducing the deadlines applicable to renewable energies, thereby accelerating the development of renewables. Besides launching the identification of renewable energy “acceleration zones” and setting short timeframes for authorities to examine projects applications therein, the bill includes measures to promote the installation of agrivoltaics and a mandate to install solar panels on parking lots larger than 1500m2 on at least 50% of their surface. The latter measure is expected to add 11GW of solar to the country’s energy mix, doubling its existing solar capacity.

The calls for tenders, being significant factors for achieving solar growth targets, the French government has decided to launch two additional tender rounds in June 2023 to allocate 2.3GW of solar capacity. The capacity will be split into a 1.5GW procurement exercise for ground-mounted projects and an 800MW tender for rooftop installations. The new capacity will compensate for the high failure rate of the previous tender round for large-scale ground- mounted solar plants, which only had seven winners, for an allocated total of 115MW. Notably, the tender criteria have been modified in 2022 to include Agri-PV projects, either in the form of agrivoltaic canopies above crops or ground- mounted projects, on uncultivated agricultural land of more than 5 years, or land that is hosting livestock.

In terms of fiscal benefits, the government extended its support by increasing the fixed feed-in tariff (FIT) threshold for from 100kW to 500kW in Autumn 2021. This is meant to make procedures easier for the mid-sized rooftop market segment, where projects were previously limited by tendering procedures. Also, a new FIT scheme will be introduced in 2023 for ground-mounted projects under 1MW installed on degraded land.

Solar PPAs have emerged as another important driver and France is actively promoting the PPA space. The country’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region has announced aid to support the growth of solar PPAs. Companies are eligible for two types of aid: a subsidy for technical and legal feasibility studies (to a maximum of 70% of costs), or funding assistance in the form of a loan or guarantee. Recently, many big developers have signed a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement for solar electricity. Some notable mentions are PPA signed between Q Energy and French retailer Les Mousquetaires, The Iliad Group and Engie, Toyota Material Handling and Alight.

Market Opportunity

In order to reduce the dependence on nuclear power for electricity generation, several routes have been activated by the French government to accelerate the expansion and development of renewable power, especially solar PV. To encourage local production of solar panels and other renewable technologies, as part of the France 2030 national investment plan, the French government will invest €1 billion in renewable energy innovation projects.
So far renewable energy tendering has proved to be a tool to expand the project base. However, contrasting results were observed in the two latest auctions conducted in January and April 2023. While the January auction was oversubscribed, allocating 173MW of solar PV capacity, 33MW more than the planned 140MW, the April 2023 tender round for commercial and industrial rooftop installations remained largely undersubscribed with only 58MW allocated of the 400MW originally planned. The discouraging result is mainly due to multiple bidders failing to comply with the financial security requirement. However, auctions are going to continue to provide investment opportunity in the sector as the government has already announced plans to hold a 1.5GW tender for ground-mounted PV and another tender for 800MW of rooftop capacity, in order to compensate the failure in the latest tendering round.

Agri-solar and floating solar are the two areas that are seeing increased activity in the recent times. For example, in the Haute-Saône region, TSE inaugurated its first agrivoltaic demonstration site on field crops in Amance. Energy developer Iberdrola won its first floating solar power project in France, with a total capacity of 25MW, due to be completed in early 2024.

The private investment is strengthening in the French solar market with the entry of new players as well as the expansion of projects under existing players. Among notable deals, Macquarie Asset Management led consortium is in the process of acquiring French solar developer Reden Solar from infrastructure companies Infravia and Eurazeo for €2.5 billion.

In order to facilitate faster deployment of renewable energy to counter the ongoing energy crisis, the government has made amendments to several tenders launched under CRE4 and PPE2 to fast-track more than 3.4GW of wind and 2.7GW of solar PV capacity to come online.


Source: BNEF Global PV Market Outlook

The outlook of the French solar PV sector is shaped by the country’s ambitious long-term target of achieving 100GW of solar PV capacity by 2050, which translates into more than 5GW of capacity every year. Although, the solar PV capacity in France is projected to maintain a steady growth trend, reaching 3.5GW of annual capacity addition in 2030, this forecasted annual capacity additions are insufficient to reach the long-term target. A massive investments injection supported by strong regulatory measures are essential in thisregard.

One of the major challenges faced by investors, in this regard, is the time lag between the proposed plant and its implementation. The widespread permitting challenges delay the further course of action. The ongoing energy crisis has aggravated this as many large-scale solar projects have had to be set aside temporarily and some of the non-bankable projects were abandoned. Moreover, unlike rooftop solar segment, the utility-scale segment has always been neglected in terms of receiving favourable regulatory norms.

Some positive steps have already been initiated, such as with the amendments done to the CRE4 and PPE2 tenders to facilitate faster deployment of renewable energy facilities across the country. The amendments entail 13 specification changes with respect to solar PV tenders, applicable to ground-mount and rooftop projects, as well as self-consumption arrays and installations without storage. Notably, through PPE2, France seeks to allocate almost 29GW of renewable power generation capacity by 2026 including c.10GW of ground-mounted PV capacity and 5.1GW of rooftop capacity.

Overall, France has showcased more focused approach in the recent years to achieve its true solar potential, however, to achieve the 2050 decarbonization goal it is imperative that administrative procedures and architectural planning are streamlined and simplified in all market segments. This should be accompanied by grid development initiatives at both transmission and distribution levels to accommodate high share of renewables towards 2050.