New Revised French Feed-in Tariffs for Solar Installations
Paris/Freiburg/Berlin - The decree of August 31, 2010, establishing the purchase conditions of electricity generated by solar energy installations, is published in the Official Journal (Journal Officiel) of September 1, 2010 and provides for a new reduction in feed-in tariffs of electricity generated by solar installations, only several months after an initial significant reduction in feed-in tariffs (decree of January 12, 2010). According to an official memo issued by the French Ministry for the Environment, Ecology, Sustainably Development and the Sea (Ministry of the Environment) on August 23, this reduction of feed-in tariffs is aimed at \"avoiding the effects of hazardous speculation\". The tariffs however \"are still very elevated\" according to the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) in its opinion published at the same time as the decree.
Still the repeated reductions in tariffs create an unstable environment with respect to developing solar energy installations, state Sibylle Weiler and Olivier Fazio, Avocats of Sterr-Kölln & Partner in Paris.
A general reduction for medium-sized and large-sized installations
The Annex of the decree of August 31, 2010 establishes the new solar energy feed-in tariffs and increases the categories of photovoltaic installations. In fact, it notably distinguishes those categories of photovoltaic installations having less than 3 kWc, those installations having less than 250 kWc and other solar plants.
Preferential treatment is moreover reserved for installations with a maximum watt peak power inferior or equal to 3 kWc that are integrated into buildings used for residential purposes, which maintain the tariff of 58 c€/kWh.
On the contrary, the tariffs of other types of installations have all been the object of significant reductions (approximately 12%). We wish to point out, for example, that for installations benefiting from the bonus system for simplified building integrated solar plants, the applicable tariff is now 37 c€/kWh instead of 42 c€/kWh, provided for in the decree of January 12, 2010.
Moreover, article 4 of the decree of August 31, 2010 maintains the annual purchase limit at 1500 hours of sunshine p.a. for an installation located on mainland France. Additional energy produced is only remunerated at 5 c€/kWh.
New transitional measures
The decree of August 31, 2010 itself sets forth the transitional provisions in its article 8.
First, article 8 of the decree of August 31, 2010 specifies that the decree of January 12, 2010 is repealed.
Second, this article provides for cases of installations that are able to continue to benefit from the tariffs established by the decree of January 12, 2010: it concerns beforehand any installations for which the producer has sent a complete grid connection application before September 1, 2010. The burden of proof for the sending of such application is on the producer in the event of a dispute.
Sterr-Kölln & Partner is an interdisciplinary service and consulting company with offices in Freiburg, Berlin and Paris that has been involved in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency for more than 12 years.
Sterr-Kölln & Partner mainly works for international banks, project developers, investors, manufacturers and communities.
Paris/Freiburg/Berlin, 13th September 2010
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