February 9 (Renewables Now) - France connected 2,763 MW of renewable power plants, mainly wind and solar, to its mainland grid last year, bringing the country’s cumulative capacity to 48,685 MW.
At the end of 2017, France had achieved 94% of its target of having 51,700 MW of renewable energy capacity in 2018, figures published by transmission system operator RTE show. Overall, some 89 TWh of its electricity came from renewable energy sources last year, meeting 18.5% of total power demand.
The shares of wind and solar in newly added capacity in 2017 stood at 65% and 32%, respectively. These are record-high results for both technologies, RTE said.
France put on stream 1,797 MW of wind power capacity in 2017, or 15.3% more than a year ago. Thus, the country had 13,559 MW of wind at the end of the year. The wind output of 24 TWh, up 14.8% in annual terms, covering 5% of metropolitan power consumption.
As for solar, 887 MW of capacity was switched on last year, bringing the total to 7,660 MW. The output of 9.2 TWh marked an increase of 9.2% on the previous year. Photovoltaic power now accounts for 1.9% of France's metropolitan consumption.
The combined capacity of new bioenergy and hydropower plants (HPPs) was 31 MW and 48 MW, respectively. At the end of December 2017, France had 1,949 MW of bioenergy and 25,517 MW of hydropower plants in operation.