The new tariff decree for solar electricity entered into force in France on March 10 of this year. The three-month moratorium which had been applicable before then, during which feed-in remunerations had been suspended, was terminated at the same time.

One of the most important changes of the new decree is that a tariff of 12 €ct/kWp is applied on principle for all ground-mounted systems as well as all other systems with a capacity of over 100 kWp, whereas the actual remuneration is intended to be determined as part of tendering procedures. The details of the novel tendering regime still need to be designed further. With the aid of the introduction of the tendering procedures, it is intended to be ensured that the annual extension goals for PV systems which the French government has set itself will actually be achieved.

So-called "breathing" tariffs will be applicable to PV systems with a capacity under 100 kWp in the future: Feed-in remunerations will be adapted on a quarterly basis, dependent on the amount of projects filed over a certain period of time. The tariff which is actually applied will be determined in accordance with the date of the request for grid connection. In case of systems with a capacity over 9 kWp it will be necessary to submit a statement of changes in equity or a finance commitment together with the request for grid connection in the future.

As before, the duration of granted PV remuneration is 20 years. However, there is a possibility of the remuneration duration being reduced if the system in question is not put into operation within 18 months of the request for grid connection having been filed.

Among other things, the new tariff decree has been criticized as regards the fact that it seems as if the suggestions made by the industry were not taken into consideration to a great extent despite the fact that the preceding moratorium had also specifically been supposed to be used to communicate with industry representatives. Furthermore, the potential of variations of feed-in remunerations caused by the breathing tariffs for systems under 100 kWp is expected to presumably complicate the planning and financing of PV projects.