08.02.2021 | The Axpo subsidiary Urbasolar has gained a market share of 38 per cent in tenders for solar canopies.

Axpo no. 1 at solar auction in France

Through its French subsidiary Urbasolar, Axpo won 11 new projects for solar plants in the area of agricultural greenhouses and logistics and industrial buildings. The project volume amounts to 33.8 MW. With a market share of 38 per cent, Axpo is in first place for CRE tenders. This success would not be possible in Switzerland because the country does not have the necessary framework conditions for the subsidy of large-scale solar plants.

Having installed solar canopies spanning over 5 million square metres on all types of building, Urbasolar has developed know-how that makes it possible to take the special features of every project into account, and present a solar solution adapted to the requirements of the respective site.

Over 900 MW capacity in calls for tenders

Since the start of the tender model in 2012, Urbasolar has won projects with a capacity of over 900 MW in France, and is in first place in the large building segment, as well as in the area of solar parking canopies. All the realised projects generate climate-friendly power.

Good framework conditions in France

In 1996, the French government introduced the first auctions and tender processes for the expansion of renewable power with the goal of supporting investments in renewable energies. Shortly afterwards, in the year 2000, the French Energy Regulatory Agency (CRE) designed the specific tender process. With the auction model, the French government has set itself an ambitious solar energy target: The existing photovoltaic capacities will be doubled by 2023 and increased fivefold by 2030.

Opportunities through the revision of the Energy and Electricity Supply Act

In practice, the French tender model for renewable energies has proven extremely effective because they have resulted in a significant renewable energy boom, not only in solar, but also in the wind energy market where Axpo is active with its subsidiary Volkswind.

In contrast, these types of comprehensive framework conditions to promote renewable energy investments do not exist in Switzerland. Programmes to promote the construction of small solar plants with captive use have existed for some time. However, these are unsuitable for the construction of new large-scale solar plants, and, as a result these plants continue to be a huge economic risk for investors. Switzerland must improve the political framework conditions for large-scale plants. The current revision of the Energy and Electricity Supply Act is an opportunity to do so. The bill will come before Swiss Parliament this summer. Along with a major part of the industry, Axpo has contributed to the discussion with proposals on how this could be most efficiently achieved. Find out more here and here.

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