Sian Crampsie

The French government has announced that it intends to double the amount of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity to be licensed under its latest tender round.

The CRE3 solar tender attracted a large quantity of bids with "very low" prices offered by the candidates, according to the ministry for ecology, sustainable development and energy. As a result, the original 400 MW limit for the round will be doubled to 800 MW.

The tender for large-scale solar installations of 250 kWp or more attracted 2000 MW of capacity at prices that are for the first time as competitive as onshore wind tariffs.

The extra 400 MW of capacity will mean that an additional 40-60 projects will be developed, said the ministry.

The results of the tender will be announced in the coming weeks. The projects will have two years to be put into service.