France is setting ambitious targets for a sustainable power supply. Calls for tender for photovoltaics from the government alone will result in new installations with a total capacity of 3 GW (gigawatts) by 2019. And if things go the way the French government hopes, this is only the beginning. The aim is to increase the share of renewables in the power supply from 19.5%, as it stands today, to 32% by 2030. This will see France increasingly becoming a leading market in Europe. With three strong partners, Intersolar Europe is placing a particular focus on international exchange: The French-German Office for Energy Transition (DFBEW), Business France and the National Solar Energy Institute (INES) are involved in a range of program events at the exhibition, including an international networking event on June 1, 2017. Additionally, a number of French companies and research organizations will be represented at the Business France and INES shared booths.
France had a strong presence at Intersolar Europe in 2016: With 35 exhibitors, the country ranked third in terms of number of exhibitors after Germany and China. And with 1,400 visitors, France also finished in third place for international visitor numbers – just slightly behind Switzerland and Italy. This looks set to increase in 2017, as the French market increasingly gains momentum across Europe.
With an expected deployment of around 7.1 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity in 2016, the European market maintains its high standard and also demonstrates its continuing innovative strength in technology. The current impulses from the growing market in France are another important signal for the industry. The French government’s targets are ambitious and the market incentives laid out in the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, passed around a year and a half ago, are increasingly beginning to take effect. The associated multi-year program plan sets the first intermediate targets for 2023. According to this, the portfolio of PV installations should more than triple by then, corresponding to an average deployment of 1.5 GW per year.
In addition to market growth, France also plays an important role in Europe technologically. The country has been intensively driving forward the development of smart power grids and related technologies since 2008 – through pilot projects, as well as with over 500 million euros of research grants and financial incentives provided by the government during this time. France has invested more in the development of smart grids than any other country in Europe. After the French market received considerable attention as one of the key topics at Intersolar Europe in 2016, collaboration with French companies and organizations is set to grow even further in 2017. Sven Rösner, Deputy Managing Director of the DFBEW: “Over the course of the last 12 months, France has put further declarations from the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act into practice. In addition to creating a technology expansion corridor for the years to come, a more concrete tendering schedule for free-standing installations has been introduced, and the legal conditions for normal and collective on-site consumption have been put in place. These measures serve to strengthen the French market’s self-confidence; the number of foreign stakeholders is increasing. The target of achieving an annual deployment of around 2 GWp until 2018 and then 3-4 GWp of development in the country’s installed capacity every year after that seems ambitious. However it is legally binding.”
Numerous activities will accompany the German-French collaboration at Intersolar Europe including an international presentation and networking event on the topics of PV, innovative energy storage systems and smart grids, which is being organized in cooperation with Business France and the DFBEW and is due to take place onJune 1, 2017 from 12:30pm to 3:30pm during Intersolar Europe. “The conditions could not be better for new investments and thus also for collaboration between German and French companies. Collaboration benefits companies, just as it does renewable energies in general, and solar energy in particular. For this reason, we are looking forward to a motivated and creative international exchange at Intersolar Europe 2017,” says Marie Lalanne, Project Manager for Renewable Energies at Business France.
In addition to this, visitors can expect to see a sizable contingent of French companies and organizations at the shared booths of Business France (hall A3, booth A3.250) and INES (hall A2, booth A2.120), who are looking to introduce themselves and establish new contacts in the European market. Presentations, workshops and other events will run alongside the exchange. All the information on the individual events in the program will be available on the Intersolar Europe website in the coming weeks.
Intersolar Europe 2017 will take place from May 31–June 2 at Messe München.