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    Late on solar energy, France takes the hit

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    Baptist Morin
    06:08, September 23, 2022

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    Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Saint-Nazaire, for a visit to the first French offshore wind farm in Loire-Atlantique, raises the question of the development of renewable energies in France. In the country, less than 3% of the electricity over the year is produced thanks to the sun. Bills aim to get things moving.

    Emmanuel Macron announced this Thursday in Saint-Nazaire that he wants to go twice as fast on renewable energies, wind and solar. Because France is lagging far behind in photovoltaics. The solar electricity production record broken this summer testifies to the margin of progress.

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    It was August 7 at 2 p.m. France broke its record for solar electricity production. At that time, the French photovoltaic park was producing the equivalent of 10 nuclear power stations combined. But this record is a sham. Because the production of solar energy starts from afar, very far away. In France, less than 3% of electricity is produced by the sun. The installed power is 14 GW. It would have to be multiplied by 7 to reach the objective set by Emmanuel Macron by 2050.

    But solar energy requires space. “To produce as much as a nuclear reactor, it takes about 1,000 hectares. But since solar only produces a quarter of the time on average, it would therefore take 4,000 hectares”, calculates Nicolas Leclerc, co-founder of the consulting firm Omnegy, specializing in the energy sector.

    The bill targets available land

    This space problem has been identified by the government. The bill targets available land. For example, there is the obligation to install photovoltaic shades in car parks (SNCF, supermarket signs, etc.). Motorway managers are also put to work through this “abandoned motorway spaces”, such as the land on either side of the lanes, rest areas, etc.

    And then, the law also provides for the development of agri-voltaics, that is to say the installation of solar panels above agricultural plots. The way to reconcile energy production and food production.

    Source: Europe1

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