A new report by Clean Horizon Consulting expects installed capacity energy storage capacity in France and the French Islands to triple by 2020, thus exceeding the 100 MW cap (excluding pumped hydro).
The company believes that the new call for 50 MW of PV plus storage in the French islands coupled with the recent opening of the ancillary services markets and the new self-consumption regulations show that France is the next European market for energy storage.
France has set an ambitious target of reaching 40 percent of renewable electricity by 2030 and is presently initiating the transitioning of its electric system by making it more flexible through energy storage. The French islands have confirmed their ambition to become the reference point in terms of intermittent integration through storage with a new tender for 50 MW of PV plus storage released in December 2016. On the French mainland, several opportunities are shaping up at different levels: As PV feed-in tariffs decrease, self-consumption is becoming an interesting option for residential customers and an early adopters’ market has kick-started. At the commercial and industrial levels, new self-consumption regulations enable and reward storage participation for the first time.
In the utility-scale segment, new revenue streams have appeared for energy storage: Following the German example, France has opened its ancillary services market and joined the common European auction for primary reserve this January. Moreover, the French energy transition law has set the principles for flexibility services contracting and remuneration, and recent regulations go as far as defining the administrative procedure for a project to be proposed to the distribution system operator. Finally, France held its first capacity market auction in December 2016, awarding 22.6 GW of capacity and thus giving positive signals for energy storage.
As renewables gradually relinquish the need for feed-in tariff support and penetrate the wholesale markets, shorter trading products are appearing and the market is becoming more liquid. Therefore, revenues such as electricity intraday trading and balancing mechanism participation need to be carefully monitored to have a better grasp on this opportunity as it emerges. Overall, Clean Horizon expects the installed capacity to triple by 2020 and thus exceed the 100 MW cap (excluding pumped hydro).
France is building on the French islands’ experience of energy storage systems and going a step further. The new regulatory environment associated with a strong energy policy has paved the way for energy storage, thus positioning the French energy storage market right after Germany and the United Kingdom.
Image: A 5 MWp PV plant with storage in Touca (Guyana - French overseas department) – courtesy of Dr Thomas Hillig Consulting/Clean Horizon Consulting