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Debate on the cost efficiency of PV support in France

Last update: 2022-01-25

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Solar power
Wind power
Hydro power
Last update on this barrier


Public perception of RES

In France, the perception of solar energy as too expensive and inefficient is relatively widespread. This can be linked back to several reports on renewable energy policies by the Court of Auditors (such as in 2013 and 2019), which have been critical of the support to renewables, towards wind and particularly solar power. This continuous debate hampers the development of solar energy and misrepresents the photovoltaic technology. However, as the costs of solar PV have fallen so much over the past decade, there are some areas in France when the use of PV systems is more cost-efficient than alternatives. The most recent Court of Auditors report on electricity system costs from 2021 December still has quite a strong focus on nuclear energy, somewhat downplaying the potential of renewables. Furthermore, the TSO RTE, in its energy scenarios to achieve climate neutrality in 2050, claims that those scenarios relying solely on renewables are less competitive than including nuclear energy. However, it should be noted that according to RTE, the costs of new nuclear would remain higher overall than those of RES in 2050. 

Tech //

Affected technologies

This online database provides information on barriers and best practices for wind onshore, wind offshore, PV rooftop and PV ground-mounted technologies.

Solar power

RES-E PV ground-mounted



Solar power

RES-E PV rooftop





Competent authorities

For Debate on the cost efficiency of PV support

Authority (Original name) Authority (English) Link
Cour des Comptes Court of Auditors Visit
Ministère de la Transition Ecologique et Solidaire French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive TransitionVisit

Other Barriers?