the solar panels market
France

MARKET SUMMARY

1.1 INTRODUCTION

The solar panels are used to recover the energy produced by the sun's rays to transform it into electricity or heat. It is therefore necessary to distinguish two types of solar panels:

  • The photovoltaic solar panels if they are used to transform the energy produced by solar radiation into electricity
  • The thermal solar panels if they are used to transform the energy produced by solar radiation into heat

In a society where the sustainable development has become an unavoidable subject, solar energy is gradually becoming more and more important as the renewable energy of the future . It was in 2007 that the solar energy sector really took off in France, thanks in particular to tax benefits such as the sustainable development tax credit. France is also fourth in the European photovoltaic market . Since then, the photovoltaic sector has been growing very rapidly and this trend is expected to continue, with the capacity of the photovoltaic fleet reaching more than 10 GW at the end of 2018, which should even double by 2020-2022. While the market experienced difficulties from 2012 to 2014, growth has resumed since 2015, establishing the market at several billion euros. However, the solar panel market only covers one minority of electricity needs in France.

The development of the solar industry, which is still emerging in France, depends heavily on the legislative and economic environment . Recently, reports have drawn a negative balance sheet of the solar sector in terms of income generated and jobs created: measures have therefore been taken by the government. Tax credit rates have been reduced and EDF will now buy back the electricity produced by solar panels at preferential rates.

Gathered in trade unions (SOLER) or associations (ENERPLAN), the solar industry has sounded the alarm and is calling for a clearer and more favourable legislative framework for the sector. The idea is to set up a real industrial policy in France in order to create a photovoltaic and thermal sector, integrated upstream by competitiveness and R&D clusters

Facing the chinese competition (about 90% of solar panels installed in France), French companies rely on internationalization and innovation . If companies like Photowatt are experiencing difficulties, others are performing well. The innovation projects of actors such as Sunpartner as well as the investments of Sunpower a subsidiary of Total, show that while the reduction in subsidies and Chinese competition have slowed the growth of solar energy in France, the sector remains promising. France is trying to revitalize a two-speed sector There is an increase in the number of photovoltaic power plants but a slower demand for solar panels for housing. As a result, the photovoltaic market is trying to interfere and conquer the digital sector.

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Cantiane Gueguen

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