France Adds Record 1 GW Solar Capacity in Q1 2024

France added a record 1 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, up 66% from the same period last year and reaching a total of 21.1 GW, according to Ministry of Energy Transition data.

Solar energy production hit 4 TWh in Q1, an 11.2% increase from the same period in 2023, accounting for 2.9% of France’s annual electricity consumption.

The regions with the highest installed solar capacity remained Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, and Occitanie, which together accounted for 47% of the solar additions in the quarter and 53% of the total national capacity.

While large projects over 250 kW made up about a third of the new capacity brought online in the quarter, smaller residential rooftop solar systems under 9 kW represented 20% of the new capacity. The number of new installations in Q1 2024 was 59,366, significantly higher than the 40,492 installations added in the same period of 2023.

The pipeline of solar projects awaiting grid connection continues to grow, reaching 27.3 GW by the end of the quarter, an increase of 22% from the previous year. Of this total, 6.3 GW have already signed grid connection agreements.

The ministry said self-consumption of solar power is on the rise, with 54.4% of photovoltaic installations (representing 11.8% of installed power) producing entirely or partially self-consumed electricity in the quarter. This share increased by 6.2% compared to the previous quarter.

France aims to have between 35 GW and 44 GW of installed solar capacity by 2028 under its latest energy policy targets.

In 2023, France announced successful bidders for the fourth round of auction to develop 1.5 GW of ground-mounted solar power projects in the country. Projects were awarded for a total capacity of 1.519 GW, and the average price quoted in the auction was €0.082 (~$0.086)/kWh.

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