37th EU PVSEC, 07 - 11 September 2020

15 March 2019

Beautiful France – a Perfect Location for the Upcoming EU PVSEC for Many Reasons

This year, the 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) will be held from 9-13 September 2019 in Marseille, France. The country is not only one of Europe’s largest economies but also one of the continent’s most promising solar markets. France has a long tradition in solar manufacturing and is home to leading European solar scientists. It hosts energy and power companies that are major international solar developers with huge plans for their home country as well.

The solar market: The French government aims to install up to 45.5 GW of solar power by 2028. This means an addition of nearly 36 GW within 10 years or an average of 3.6 GW per year. This target was published in the recent draft of the French government’s ‘Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie’ or Multiannual Energy Programme (PPE). While France did not belong to the solar leaders in Europe in recent years, the country wants solar to play a much bigger role in its energy strategy in the coming years. As of this year until 2024, France plans to launch tenders for both ground-mounted as well as rooftop solar adding up to a total of 17.2 GW.

France aims to increase the share of renewable energy in its total electricity mix from 48.6 GW at the end of 2017 to 74 GW in 2023 and 102 to 113 GW by 2028. Solar is projected to contribute 20.6 GW by 2023 and expected to be the leader among all renewable energy technologies, reaching between 35.6 GW to 44.5 GW by 2028.

graph nl13 2The solar industry: Major French energy companies EDF, Engie and Total have been very successful in international solar project development directly or through their subsidiaries on several continents. EDF and Total also recently announced ambitious solar installation targets for their home country and have already started a shopping spree to reach these goals. EDF strives to install 30 GW solar power capacity between 2020 and 2035 in France to reach a 30 to 35% market share. It announced last month that it had started exclusive negotiations to acquire the Luxel Group, an independent solar energy player in France with about 1 GW gross capacity in operation, ready to be built or under development. In 2018 Total declared that it was looking at installing 10 GW within 10 years. Total then took over French power supplier Direct Energie which has an installed energy generation capacity of 1.35 GW, including 550 MW of renewable power, and a 2 GW pipeline of renewable electricity projects in France. Direct Energie is also the parent company of renewables developer Neoen, which just announced to build a 45 MW PV power plant in France.

Total is also the majority owner of leading high-efficiency solar module manufacturer SunPower from the US. They operate module production facilities in France and just introduced the ‘”most powerful residential solar panels in the world”. These solar modules with power ratings of up to 415 W are based on the company’s back contact monocrystalline cells, now in larger sizes (6-inch cell) as well.

The R&D landscape: France is also at the forefront of solar research. CEA-INES is one of the leading solar research centres in Europe, working on several aspects of PV all the way from silicon purification and crystallisation to management systems for solar power plants. CEA-INES has played an instrumental role in commercialising advanced cell technologies such as heterojunction architecture. It started working on HJT as early as in 2005 and currently operates a pilot line for HJT cells. In January the research institute announced a 23.9% conversion efficiency for HJT cells, which was processed in an industrial environment production equipment supplied by Meyer Burger and standard wafer size. CEA-INES is also working on other advanced cell concepts such as passivated contacts and next generation PV including perovskites.

EU PVSEC in France: Join us actively for the upcoming EU PVSEC in Marseille. Late abstracts are still welcome, book a stand to present your products at our exhibition, or create your own parallel event to complement our scientific conference. The Call for Parallel Events ends on 20 March 2019.