France lifted its cumulative installed solar power capacity to 12,573 MW at the end of June after bringing online 1,367 MW of new plants in the first half of 2021.
During the first six months of 2021, the domestic solar industry commissioned 29,388 photovoltaic (PV) parks, shows data provided by the French energy ministry’s Department of Data and Statistical Studies (SDES). In terms of capacity, the new additions represent a 217% increase from the first half of 2020 when 431 MW of plants became operational.
The strong year-on-year growth mirrors the increased number of installations that went online, as well as the grid-connection of larger power plants. Of the total 1,367 MW, around 66% comes from facilities exceeding 250 kW.
By region, the bulk of the newly-commissioned capacity in January-June was put on stream in metropolitan France, which accounted for 1,358 MW of the total. The three top locations were the regions of New Aquitaine (301 MW), Occitania (221 MW) and Grand Est (212 MW).
Solar power generation in the reporting period stood at 7.6 TWh, up from 6.8 TWh a year before thanks to the higher irradiation levels. Photovoltaics supplied 3.1% of the country’s electricity demand in the six months.
At the end of June, France had a solar project pipeline of 8.8 GW, including 2.9 GW of schemes with grid-connection contracts.
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