London — France has awarded subsidies to over 1,700 MW of wind and solar capacity across projects and given leeway on completion dates due to coronavirus restrictions, the energy ministry said.
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The government has also adjusted the schedule for upcoming tenders, shifting two-thirds of volumes from two onshore wind and ground-based solar tenders to November from July, it said.
"The progress of many renewable projects is currently disrupted, which is why I decided to grant additional delays for projects under construction and for the next tenders," energy minister Elisabeth Bourne said in a conference call with stakeholders.
The latest onshore wind tender was oversubscribed, with 749 MW awarded, average awards in the pay-as-bid auction falling to Eur62.90/MWh ($67.9/MWh).
Competitive pricing in the competition meant more than the allotted 630 MW could be awarded.
By contrast, a tender for 850 MW of ground-based solar was undersubscribed, with 649 MW awarded at an average Eur62.11/MWh.
The results were in contrast to recent German tenders where onshore wind remained undersubscribed around Eur61/MWh, while ground-based solar was oversubscribed with average prices around Eur50/MWh.
In addition, some 312 MW of solar capacity were awarded across a number of specific tenders including 94 MW for the Haut-Rhin region around Fessenheim to compensate for the closure of France's oldest nuclear power plant, innovation solar largely for agricultural land as well as self-consumption and projects in France's oversea departments as well as Corsica.
France plans to tender 28 GW of subsidized wind and solar projects over the next five years to achieve targets set out by its PPE energy road map.
"The health crisis we are going through must not in any way make us give up the ambitious targets for renewables," Bourne said.
The final draft for the PPE 2019-2023 and 2024-2028 sets out a timetable for tenders for 10 GW of ground-based solar, 4.5 GW of roof-top solar, over 9 GW onshore and nearly 5 GW offshore wind.
France has 17 GW of wind (all onshore) and 10 GW of solar capacity installed, generating 16 TWh in the first quarter, up 34% year on year, Platts Renewables Tracker data showed.
FRENCH RENEWABLES TENDER RESULTS
FRENCH RES TENDER SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS
Source: French energy ministry