France will require all large car parks to have solar roofs by law

New non-residential buildings will have to have at least 50% of the roof covered with solar photovoltaic energy. Image: Sun Source Energy.

The French Senate has approved new legislation that will boost the deployment of renewable energy in France, with the obligation for outdoor car parks to be covered with solar energy by law.

According to French Senator Jean-Pierre Corbisez, large outdoor car parks with more than 80 spaces will have to be covered with photovoltaic solar panels, which could add between 6.7 and 11 GW of solar capacity in the years to come. This would almost double France’s installed solar capacity, which was 13.2 GW in 2021.

From July 1, 2023, car parks with at least 80 spaces and up to 400 will have five years to comply with the new measure, while larger car parks will have to implement the changes in three years.

Certain exceptions can be applied if technical, safety, architectural, historical or environmental constraints prevent the installation of solar roofs.

Other measures passed in the law include an increased requirement for non-residential roofs that would require 50% of the roof to be covered by solar PV, up from the 30% previously sought.

Several proposals around agrivoltaics have also been adopted, including the removal of asbestos from agricultural roofs in favor of solar PV, which will be implemented on an experimental basis for the next three years.

The French Syndicate of Renewable Energy Professionals (SER) welcomed the Senate’s introduction of several articles that will accelerate the deployment of renewable energies in France.