Photovoltaic, the inadequacy of the feed-in tariff [in French]

Summary : The current policy of guaranteed feed-in tariffs on photovoltaic lacks rationality: no degression of tariffs, overlong duration of engagements, no ceiling on developed capacities, weak readability of support mechanisms accumulation (tax credit, direct subsidies) and giving too advantageous back time. The lack of distinction between technological channels hinders the emergence of technologies that could be more promising than existing dominant ones. Therefore we legitimately have to wonder about future support expenditures mirroring the potential advantages and question the capacity of France in position of second mover to catch up first movers (Germany, Japan, USA) joined recently by China. The report does not criticizes, per se, a policy based on feed-in tariffs, such policy is suited to techniques close to commercial maturity by assuring a stable and close signal to electricity wholesale prices. The report criticizes its unsuitability to the maturity level of PV which leads to have guaranteed tariffs 5 times higher than those for wind energy. Although, on a technological base, future is still open between the different channels of silicium cristallin and thin layers channels, the report advocates to retarget the mechanism in regard with the enormous stakes of PV. One should rapidly decrease costly incentives for the implementation of PV cells and soil plants and increase the upstream and industrial demonstration R&D budgets to favor the consolidation of new channels (thin layers nut also enhanced Si Cristallin). One should target more specifically the demonstration phase and the industrial development where a large share of costs decreases learning is at stake.

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