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Solar panels in France: a steeplechase
by RobertArthur • Fri 15 Nov 2019 12:18
After the French photovolaic crisis in 2009 things have calmed down a bit. Not too many forum questions about solar panels the last few years, a lot of red tape here in France, not very inviting. Price level is also not helpful: easily two to three times as expensive as in Germany and other EU countries. Too many scandals and too many Wild West (East, North and South) French cowboys active on this lucrative market. The French "Scientific and Technical Center for Building" (CSTB) is a treasure room: a wide range of studies and publications. From constructional engineering subjects to insulation and safety issues, certification etc. Last year they published together with the Eyrolles publishing company a practical guide: "Installations photovoltaïques en toiture et façade." As an appetizer they published these nine pages. It's a mix of the inevitable complex French regulations and "how-to" installation instructions. Other sources of information are books as "L'Officiel de l'Électricité" by Promotelec and "L'Installation Électrique" by the Eyrolles publishing company. The website of Photovoltaïque answers almost all your questions you wanted to ask but were afraid to.
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Mar 2009
Re: Solar panels in France: a steeplechase
by Creusebear • Sun 17 Nov 2019 17:55
Our local farmer has had two massive barns put up on his land by solar energy companies. They choose the location and install panels and he gets the barn (although not a concrete floor in it) I have seen several similar in the area and wondered if there were deals for houses if they pointed in the right direction.
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May 2007
Re: Solar panels in France: a steeplechase
by RobertArthur • Sun 17 Nov 2019 18:35
Creusebear, these energy companies were only interested in very big footprints and the rather high kWH prices of eight, ten years ago. Not such a thing for a simple maison.
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Mar 2009
Re: Solar panels in France: a steeplechase
by Dave • Mon 18 Nov 2019 12:29
We are lucky enough to have a large unobstructed south facing roof and I've been thinking of installing both PV and thermal solar panels for a while. I've been largely put off by the complexity of the paperwork (and I'm not even sure if I'd be allowed to install things myself) and also by the environmentally unfriendly nature of panel construction.

I've seen a few solar farms in Creuse (there is a large one near Bonnat for example) and I've seen a few barns with a good amount panels but I'm still not seeing many homes with them or much support for DIY installations. Does anyone have a domestic installation in France, or undertaken a DIY install?

It is still something I'd like to do in the future as prices, paperwork and construction methods improve.
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Aug 2004
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