27 October 2011


The 2012 Presidential Elections In France: Photovoltaic Industry Forms Major Challenge

With Eva Joly warning that she will not be part of a government which does not have clear ecological commitments from the PS; with the Minister of Ecology, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, labeling François Hollande's ecology "outdated"; with the government boasting in the media about the results of the Grenelle Environment four years after its implementation... There is no doubt that sustainable development will be one of the themes of the 2012 presidential election, if not one of the major issues.

For Arnaud Gossement, a lawyer specializing in environment and energy law, there are two major reasons for the resurgence of energy at the heart of political debate. Firstly, purchasing power and the rise in energy prices which remains of increasing concern to the French. Then, two recent events: the nuclear accident which occurred at the plant in Fukushima, and the protests against shale gas production. "These two cases concern energies of the past, " states Arnaud Gossement. "The challenge for our present-day policies is to talk about the future - and indeed our present - namely renewable energy and the savings that can be made as a result. "

Another major challenge, according to this expert, is one for sustainable development players: that of convincing the candidates for the supreme office that renewable energy will be tomorrow's economy. "If France does not position itself in the market very quickly, " warns Arnaud Gossement, "it will quickly be overtaken by other countries which have already made this choice - notably Germany. " In this regard, Enerplan, the solar energy trade association, hopes to convince the campaign teams that the photovoltaic industry is capable of creating 100,000 jobs in France between now and 2020. "Either we invest in 2012 and we obtain an industry worthy of this name, or we continue with an ambitionless policy, as is the case today - and in that case, we will see a trade deficit of 1.5 billion euros in 2020, " resumes Richard Loyen, Managing Director of Enerplan.

With the major solar energy players meeting this weekend in Paris, their proposals will be notably at the heart of the international conference on the future of solar taking place in Lyon on 10 November, at the initiative of Solarplaza.

This key event will be attended by industry experts: professionals from the sector, state officials, project developers, financial experts... These experts will present their visions for the evolution of the French market, and will share their experiences and knowledge in the field of solar energy in France.

Information and registration on the conference website:

Stay on top of the global solar market by joining one of our upcoming events.