December 4 (Renewables Now) - France commissioned 707 MW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the first nine months of 2019, bringing cumulative grid-connected installations to 9,649 MW, government statistics show.
At the end of September, France had a total of 445,772 grid-connected solar parks after 20,375 plants became operational in the first three quarters of 2019. The newly-commissioned capacity was 1% below the 711 MW brought online in the year-ago period, according to the data provided by the French energy ministry’s Department of Data and Statistical Studies (SDES).
The regions New Aquitaine, Occitanie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur accounted for 69% of the new installations in terms of capacity.
Almost 55% of the newly-commissioned plants have capacities of at least 250 kW.
France’s solar parks produced 9.5 TWh of electricity in January-September, rising from 8.7 TWh a year earlier thanks to favourable solar conditions. Photovoltaics supplied 2.8% of the country’s electricity demand during the nine-month period, up by 0.3 points from a year earlier.
At the end of September, France had a solar project pipeline of 5,700 MW, up 27% from a year back. About 1,500 MW of these projects already have signed grid-connection contracts.
Under its Multiannual Energy Programme, France aims to boost its installed solar capacity to between 35.6 GW and 44.5 GW in 2028.