While most other countries in the European Union [EU] have been making strides in green energy, including Germany, whose efforts made it the leader in renewable energy in 2012, and Spain, whose 19.9MW CSP plant just came online in 2011. Since 2010, on the other hand, the French solar industry has lost 44% of its workforce. Clearly, the French solar industry needs some help to restore jobs and bring France back in line with the rest of the EU.
The current regime blames the waffling previous regime for this failure, and is taking steps to revive the French solar industry. “Many jobs were lost because of the (former) government’s yoyo policies. But we will fight… to develop the ecological competitiveness of France,” said French Energy Minister Delphine Batho. Step One: Increase French solar capacity. announced that France will be working to increased production by 1GW per year, double that previously.
Batho expects that this increase might bring an additional €2 billion in investments into the French solar industry. The increased production and investment will be helpful in restoring so many jobs that were lost in the last couple of years. The French government will also be adding a 10% bonus on tarriffs for smaller solar farms using solar panels made elsewhere in the EU. This is by no means a permanent solution to France’s flailing green energy plans, but it’s a good start.