French Parliament approves electricity auto-consumption bill

17 Feb 2017

The French Parliament has approved a draft law aimed at inciting electricity auto-consumption for households or companies generating electricity, usually from solar panels. The draft had been finalised by a joint committee, to set up a regulatory framework for auto-consumption.

The bill forces electricity grid operators to facilitate auto-consumption operations and to determine a specific tariff for grid use; since October 2016, electricity distribution company Enedis has been providing smart meters to residential solar PV installations and the bulk of new PV installations have opted for auto-consumption. The bill also includes details for collective auto-consumption (several users consuming the electricity from one installation, e.g. in a multi-dwelling building). Details for business users will be elaborated later. Secondary laws (application decrees) and tariff orders should follow in the next few weeks. Small auto-consumption installations may benefit from an €800/kWc investment premium (up to €2,400/kWc for installations of 3 kWc), to be paid over 5 yers. The surplus sale tariff will be cut to €6c/kWh.

More and more households choose to consume the electricity they produce and to sell their excess generation on the grid due to falling costs in solar panels (around €10,000-12,000, half of the costs level a few years ago), declining feed-in tariffs (€12-14c/kWh for small installations) and rising electricity tariffs (€16c/kWh, from €11c/kWh).

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