19 October 2010


Is it still worth investing in solar energy in France?

"Yes ", considers Jean-Baptiste Brochier, a specialist consultant in solar energy. For the individual, there is "no doubt ". As a demonstration, "The installation of solar roof panels of 30m² costs about €20,000. When it is well done, it generates annual revenues from sales of electricity to EDF ranging from €1300 to €2000, depending on whether one lives in Lille or Toulouse. And this is guaranteed for 20 years. That is enough to repay the initial capital investment, and to generate a profit. This is without taking into account the tax credit which, although reduced by half, still remains at 25% with a cap of €8,000 for a single person and €16,000 for a couple. "

But what is it like for the professionals? Jean-Baptise Brochier’s answer is more equivocal. "In solar energy, it is the State which creates the market, but not the sunshine ", explains the specialist. As proof, he cites the case of Germany, the best-equipped country in the world in terms of solar energy, ahead of California, Italy, Spain, etc. "Now ”, continues Jean-Baptiste Brochier, "since 2006, the legislative framework which promotes the production of solar energy in France, although objectively favourable, never stops changing with complete unpredictability. Hence, even though the market volume is developing steadily, this seriously complicates the task for industrialists who are investing in the creation of high value-added jobs ".

Despite this background, the specialist claims to be confident, "There are two certainties – in the years to come fossil energy will decrease and solar energy is going to increase. We now just have to hope that our politicians will understand the basic challenges and decide to make solar energy into a lever in its own right in their energy policy, and not treat it as an ecological gadget ". This problem of the forecast trend in the French market will be one of the central themes of the solar energy conference organised by Solarplaza in Marseille on 9 November. Many experts from the industry will be there. An unmissable date.

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