France said it would extend deadlines for wind and solar projects battling to finish construction during the coronavirus crisis, as the country awarded another 1.7GW in its latest batch of tendering.
The French energy ministry said commissioning deadlines will be softened and future tenders postponed, as completing or planning projects becomes increasingly difficult amid lockdown restrictions.
The next onshore wind tender with a submission deadline of 1 July will now be split in two, with one-third of the volume handled then and the remainder given a new deadline of 1 November.
The announcement is the latest from a government to recognise the strain being put on developers by the health emergency – Germany has already announced similar measures.
It came as France revealed the results of its latest tender rounds, with more than 1.7GW awarded across 288 projects.
Onshore wind took 749MW – more than the 630MW initially offered – at an average price of €62.9/MWh ($68.4/MWh). That represents a fall on the €66.50/MWh seen at the last tender result in October.
Large-scale PV took 649MW at an average €62.11/MWh, with the balance made up by various other solar categories.
French energy minister Elisabeth Borne said: “The progress of many renewable energy production projects is currently disrupted, which is why I decided to grant additional delays for the sites under construction and for the next calls for tenders.
“The health crisis that we are going through must not in any way make us give up [our] ambitious objectives in terms of development of renewable energies.”