Similar to several European countries, France aims to accelerate their solar growth to reduce their reliance on imported natural resources. By 2050, France aims to increase the current solar production by tenfold, thus exceeding 100GW.
In February 2022, president Macron acknowledged that France has “fallen behind” and aims to increase output through rooftop and ground PV panels. To achieve this goal, the country will need to develop 5GW of solar energy per year, representing a massive opportunity for solar investors to gain a foothold in the French solar market.
In order to accelerate solar growth, France will provide opportunities for solar investors and developers through national tenders and PPAs.
1) KGAL (Grünwald, Germany)
The Grünwald-based investment group have acquired a considerable renewables portfolio through their green energy fund KGAL ESPF 4. In 2014, KGAL invested €120m across 11 solar projects in France. In 2018, the German group acquired a further 18.6MW through two solar parks developed by Solairedirect. Thus, bringing their French solar capacity over 110MW.
In 2021, KGAL sold seven French solar parks to Italian renewables developer ERG. The solar parks have an installed capacity of 56.7MW and were sold alongside French and German wind projects. The projects were sold as part of KGAL’s active build-and-sell strategy, which has paid dividends to the investment group who aims to repeat this approach at new locations.
2) Neoen (Paris, France)
Since their foundation in 2008, the French renewables group have established themselves as a key player in the French solar, wind, and battery sector. As well as maintaining a strong national presence, Neoen have been involved in several renewable projects located in Australia, Mexico, Portugal and El Salvador.
The Parisian group have invested over €300m having acquired 364.6MW of solar projects in the last nine French tenders. Of which, 183MW is already in operation or undergoing construction. These projects will be in addition to their already vast French solar portfolio, as Neoen have won 661MW in French government tenders in the last five years.
3) The Renewables Infrastructure Group (Guernsey)
The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) were one of the pioneer investors in renewable energy projects by companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. TRIG completed their IPO in 2012, raising £300m and becoming a member of the FTSE-250 index. The Guernsey-based group are managed by InfraRed Capital and RES. To date, TRIG have acquired 17 solar projects in France.
In 2020, the group purchased over 100MW of wind and solar assets in France from French developer Akuo Energy. The solar projects are located on Corsica and La Reunion islands, with a total installed capacity of 29MW in combination with their battery assets. TRIG have invested in the projects through mezzanine level bonds that will be repaid in full within 12 years.
Image Source Unsplash 11.07.2022