London — France has awarded subsidized contracts to 392 rooftop solar PV projects with a combined capacity of 200 MW in the fourth round of a 2.5 GW program, the energy ministry said Thursday.
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The average price dropped a further 5% from the previous round to Eur80.80/MWh ($99.89/MWh) with prices down 24% from the first round last April, it added.
Rooftop projects are generally smaller and therefore more expensive than ground-based projects which averaged just above Eur60/MWh in their latest auction.
In Germany, the average price for ground-based solar projects dropped below Eur50/MWh with rooftop projects compensated through higher feed-in-tariffs.
The energy ministry has also launched a working group to accelerate solar growth to reach its targets of 10 GW installed by end-2018 and 20 GW by 2023.
France's installed solar capacity is currently 8 GW.
For 2018, the government expects up to 1,500 MW of solar to be grid-connected, up from 875 MW in 2017 and 587 MW in 2016, it added.
Volumes for the next rooftop tender in July were lifted to 225 MW with the next ground-based tender planned for June with 720 MW on offer.
Last week, the government launched an additional solar tender for 300 MW specifically for the Haut-Rhin region to offset the impact of the planned closure of France's oldest nuclear power plant at Fessenheim.
The government plans to update its energy plan later this year with key focus on reducing the share of nuclear in the power mix.
French state-owned utility EDF plans to develop 30 GW of solar capacity in France between 2020 and 2035.