French solar power generation increased in Q1

As the French government pushes the development of green energies in the country, the Energy Ministry noted in its quarterly report that solar power generation rose to 2.3 terawatt hours (TWh) in the period. This is up 57 percent year-on-year, the surge due to a period of prolonged sunshine in February and March and new capacity installations.

The government’s goal is to cut the share of atomic power in the electricity mix to 50 percent by 2035, from around 75 percent at present. According to the grid operator RTE, around a fifth of French power needs in the first quarter were met by renewables, including solar, wind, and hydro power.

France added 164 megawatts of solar capacity in the quarter, taking total installed solar generation capacity to over 9 gigawatts (GW) at the end of March. The energy ministry report showed electricity production from wind turbines in France reached 9.8 TWh during the quarter, up from 9.2 TWh a year earlier. Around 200 MW of new onshore wind capacity was connected to the power grid, taking installed generation capacity to 15.3 GW. Power from wind turbines covered around 7 percent of French electricity consumption in the quarter. The ministry said 11.8 GW of wind power projects were in the pipeline as of the end of the period.

At the end of March, France had 663 facilities producing electricity from biogas with a total installed capacity of 460 MW, of which 7 MW was added in the first quarter, the data showed. Electricity output from biogas generation was at 0.5 TWh during the quarter.