Wind takes a beating from solar

FRANCE: As predicted, solar PV projects have won the entire 200MW of capacity offered in a technology-neutral tender pitting it against onshore wind.

No wind farms were awarded in France's experimental joint-technology tender (pic: Nordex)

The joint tender was announced by then-energy minister Nicolas Hulot in December 2017.

Sixteen solar projects have been selected at an average price of €54.94/MWh.

They were "more competitive" than any of the wind power projects, the energy ministry said.

The tender was launched as an experiment to test the advantages and disadvantages of technology-neutral tenders as promoted by the European Union.

Winners were selected purely on the basis of price, but the number of wind power projects submitted and bid prices were not revealed.

The industry and regulator CRE were opposed to the tender from the start, pointing out that wind and solar are complementary.

"We need both, and they need each other to allow the large-scale penetration of renewable energies in France," said a French wind energy association spokesman.

It is a view new energy minister François de Rugy seems to share.

The results demonstrate "the need to develop a balanced and diversified renewable electricity mix through calls for tenders which call into play the complementarities of energies," he said when announcing the winners.

This seems to indicate that the government will revert to holding separate tenders for each technology.

A similar technology-neutral tender in Germany in April yielded the same result, with solar projects winning all of the available capacity. The system was criticised by members of both wind and solar industries.