France met 19% of its final energy demand from renewables in 2016 and plans to increase this share to 40% by 2030. Key to the plan is the simplification of rules governing ‘prosumers’ – citizens or businesses that generate and consume their own energy – and their connection to the traditional energy market.
“Seventy-six percent of French citizens want to generate and consume their own energy,” Virginie Schwarz, director for energy at France’s ecological transition ministry, told an event hosted by EURACTIV in Paris on 5 October.
And demand for the connection of independent generation capacity is growing. “Last year one-third of connection requests for photovoltaic capacity were from prosumers. This year so far it is more than half – from households, businesses and cooperatives,” she said.
Schwarz added that the share of photovoltaic (PV) energy generation in the renewable energy mix would continue to rise as prices fall.