Development of the solar energy sector in France: new photovoltaic tariff order of October 6th, 2021 raises the threshold of the open-window proceeding to 500 kWp


​published on 17th February 2022


France is accelerating its energy transition with the publication of the decree and the tariff order of October 6th, 2021 extending access to the open-window proceeding (French „guichet ouvert”) and the benefit of the feed-in tariff for solar photovoltaic installations installed on buildings, sheds or shades with a capacity of less than or equal to 500 kWp, which was eagerly awaited by players in the photovoltaic sector. The measures are in line with the objectives of the multi-annual energy program, which calls for an installed photovoltaic production capacity of 35 to 44 GW by 2028 (compared with 11.7 GW today). Validated by the European Commission on August 27th, 2021, the aid scheme for photovoltaic installations should mobilize a total of 5.7 billion euros until 2026 to increase the capacity of renewable solar energy by 3,700 MW. The scheme is intended to provide new opportunities for the industry.


Since 2016, the State's support for photovoltaic installations has taken the form of two different remuneration mechanisms based on the power of the considered installations:

  • open-window feed-in tariffs (French „guichet ouvert”), adjusted each quarter;
  • calls for tenders with support in the form of feed-in tariffs and additional remuneration above a certain power.


The decree of October 6th, 2021 and the tariff order of the same day raise the eligibility threshold for the purchase obligation (known as the „open window” procedure - French „guichet ouvert”) to rooftop photovoltaic installations with a peak power less than or equal to 500 kilowatts. The previous version of Article D. 314-15 of the French Energy Code restricted the benefit of the open window to installations with an installed capacity of 100 kW or less on a single site. The new installations concerned by the open window system will now allow to avoid to proceed with a call for tenders by signing a purchase contract directly with EDF or with local distribution companies, for a period of 20 years, enabling the purchase of all the electricity produced at a rate set by decree (French Energy Code, Article L. 314-1 and R.314-17).


The photovoltaic feed-in tariffs for the 4th quarter of 2021 (November 1st, 2021 to January 31st, 2022) are set as follows:


Sale in full Power (P²) Feed-in tariffs 4th quarter 2021 Surplus sale Power (P²) Feed-in tariffs 4th quarter 2021
Tariff TaP ≤ 3 kWp175,6 €/MWhPremium PaP ≤ 3 kWp0,37 €/Wp
Tariff Ta3 kWp < P ≤ 9 kW149,4 €/MWhPremium Pa3 kWp < P ≤ 9 kWp0,28 €/Wp
Tariff Tb9 kWp < P ≤ 36 kWp106,4 €/MWhPremium Pb9 kWp < P ≤ 36 kWp0,16 €/Wp
Tariff Tb36 kWp < P ≤ 100 kWp92,5 €/MWhPremium Pb36 kWp < P ≤ 100 kWp0,08 €/Wp
Tariff Tc100 kWp < P ≤ 500 kWp98 €/MWhPremium Pc100 kWp < P ≤ 500 kWp98 €/MWh


It should be noted that there is currently no valuation for ground-mounted photovoltaic projects of less than 500kWp, but the Minister has announced a tariff decree for ground-mounted plants in this power segment on degraded land. This point is to be followed in 2022.


The new tariff order of October 6th, 2021 is only applicable to installations that are commissioned after the order is published (i.e., after October 8th, 2021) and that meet the following criteria:


  • sale with injection of all production or of the surplus only (individual or collective self-consumption). Within the framework of collective self-consumption operations, the producer undertakes to ensure that part of the electricity produced is used by himself or a third party on the site of implementation and then transfers what is not self-consumed to the network. The purchase rate defined by the order will be applicable for the sale of this surplus;
  • power equal or lower than 500 kWp;
  • implantations on building, hangar or shade;
  • obligation of qualification or professional certification of the installer;
  • carbon footprint less than 500 kg eqCO2/kWp for installations above 100 kWp (a methodology for calculating the carbon footprint is presented in the annex to the order).


The deadline for completion has also been extended to 24 months from the date of the connection request (compared to 18 months in the 2017 order). However, the producer retains the option of extending this deadline to two months from the completion of the connection work when the latter has done everything possible to ensure that the work is completed within the deadline.


Moreover, installations with a power of less than or equal to 500 kWp can benefit from a landscape integration premium if they meet certain specific criteria (in particular: roof of a building or shed ensuring the watertightness of the roof over at least 80% of the total surface area of the roof, obtention of a favorable technical opinion from the French Scientific and Technical Building Centre) and if the request is made before October 8th, 2023. The amount of this premium will however be reduced if the cumulative power of the installations benefiting from the tariff and having submitted a complete application for connection within the year, exceeds 30 MW.


Finally, the decree prohibits the cumulation of premiums and feed-in tariffs with other public financial support for electricity production from a local, regional, national or European Union aid scheme. This provision does not prevent, in principle, benefitting from aids other than that linked to the investment in the installation.


Two months after the implementation of this measure, nearly 9,000 project applications for the open window proceeding up to 500 kWp have already been submitted, representing a total installed capacity of 650 megawatts, equivalent to the electricity consumption of 110,000 homes. The anticipated increase in the price of photovoltaic panels in 2022 could nevertheless delay some projects.





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