Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
albeit on a smaller scale.

A couple of years ago, France had virtually no PV generation. The government decided to get serious about it, and decent feed-in tariffs were fixed. In 2009, installations far exceeded expectations, and the government panicked. In March this year, they introduced new feed-in tariffs -- retrospective to the end of 2009. Jacobinism at its worst. The nascent industry, obviously, is in chaos.

Nevertheless there is still a lot of development. In particular, a 50% tax credit for rooftop installations means there's fast development in this sector. But no! they've fixed that too : yesterday they announced that it will be 25% next year, and eliminated in 2012.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Sep 30th, 2010 at 05:22:28 PM EST
To add a further parallel: I didn't mention in the diary what happened in 2004. Before, rooftop solar benefited from a direct subsidy, the 100,000 Roofs Program. This had a goal to install 300 MW, which was exceeded in 2003 and the program terminated. So experts and the industry called for an increase of feed-in rates to prevent the collapse of the industry.

At the time, the right-of-centre parties, which had a majority in the upper house of parliament, were pre-occupied with the wind power boom, and demanded a slashing of FIT rates there -- and thought it would be a nice compensation in the eyes of voters to support photovoltaics at the same time. Alas, now that new installations by that industry grew 30-fold from 2003 to 2009, they panicked, indeed...

By the way, do you have any numbers and/or links on installation stats in France?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 04:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
INSEE numbers  : Photovoltaic electricity production, in kTep (thousand tonnes equivalent petroleum)

Production : 2008  2009  2009 (to August)
Photovoltaic    2     4    14
Wind          349   489   667

This indicates the scale of the acceleration, and the very low base. In the 6 months to June 2010, France added 510 Mw of photovoltaic generation. Compare this to the more than 2000 Mw added in Germany, in the month of June alone...

So the reason the French government panicked is that it set its targets very low indeed.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 04:53:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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