Figures for PV in Flanders and RE in France for 2012
Last week, the statistics for solar installations in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium were published, as were statistics for renewable electricity in France. The Flemish now nearly have two gigawatts of PV, while the French have crossed the three-gigawatt threshold.
The roughly 6.3 million inhabitants of Flanders had 1.96 gigawatts of photovoltaics installed at the end of 2012 according to official figures published this month (PDF). In 2012, only 270.6 megawatts was installed, considerably less than the 796.5 megawatts from the previous year. The average system size is quite small at 7.15 kilowatts.
While the Flemish market is relatively small in absolute terms on a global scale – it only made up around one percent of PV sales worldwide last year – the Flemish are nonetheless progressing quite quickly in relative terms. For instance, Los Angeles has a greater population with much greater power consumption (not to mention much better solar conditions) but a much less ambitious target.
Neighboring France also announced its renewables figures for 2012 (PDF), and the country crossed the three-gigawatt threshold to reach 3.126 gigawatts at the end of 2012 on the mainland (not including Corsica and the DOM-TOM). In addition, the French also had 6.82 gigawatts of wind turbines installed by the end of the year. The biomass and biogas sectors remained relatively negligible in contrast.
Overall, the French got 0.8 percent of their electricity from photovoltaics in 2012, compared to 2.9 percent wind power. But as the official publication by RTE points out, France still lags behind its neighbors, such as Spain and Denmark, which get 17.2 percent and 29.5 percent of their electricity from wind power, respectively.
Current data for the French power market are available from the RTE's éco2mix website. (Craig Morris)