French energy regulator releases report on PV and renewable energy costs

One of the first large-scale PV plants installed in France. The 4.2 project was developed by French solar developer Solardirect in 2009.

The French Commission for Energy Regulation (CRE) has released a report on the costs of renewable energy installations that shows how PV technology costs have drastically dropped in France over the past years. The CRE examined 50 PV installations with a combined capacity of 164 MW, the most of which were installed under the RfPs for PV projects between 100 and 250 kW in size and for PV projects over 250 kW. The report concludes that the costs of PV systems have considerably decreased over the past years mainly due to the solar module price drop registered in the global market. The FIT mechanism, however, has granted an excessive profitability, especially to the projects developed under the country’s FIT programs that were closed in 2008 and 2010, the study concludes. According to the CRE, the auction mechanism introduced in 2010 has enabled a further cost reduction and has granted solar developers a reasonable profitability.

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