Canigou European Solar Energy (CESE)
London and Tolouse
Project Team: Our European solar team have over 35 years of development experience in solar energy and a strong background in innovation and research with hundreds of solar projects developed, designed and implemented in that time. Their experience includes the entire breadth of the solar development detailed project design, electrical network modelling and provision of specialist engineering expertise, as well as installation review and commissioning.
Canigou Capital has specialised in solar projects for years and we currently have multiple projects in development stages. Solar power is a key player globally in countries reducing their carbon emissions. Solar projects vary in type, size and technology. At Canigou Capital we generally specialise in larger projects, such as ground mounted solar. We are also interested in innovative solar projects such as floating solar or large-scale rooftop solar often seen in industrial zones.
These types of project can produce enough electricity to contribute to the national grid, in doing so supporting the local community. Governments generally encourage solar projects and in many developed countries they are working towards making more rural areas, where solar projects can thrive, better connected to the national grid. This means that the infrastructure will be in place, where it hasn’t been before, in order for solar projects to expand.
Our solar projects normally run on a 25-year lease and once constructed require very little maintenance. The solar panels convert the light from the sun into electricity via photovoltaic cells. This electricity is then passed through a generator straight into the national grid, allowing counties to supplement their electricity supply with green energy. In countries such as France this means that they can begin to shut down nuclear power stations, hence reducing their carbon emissions. In other countries such as Australia, the infrastructure in rural areas is allowing huge projects to be placed where previously there was no way to connect the solar panels to the national grid.
Reason 1: Attractive financial stability
In the most recent renewable energy country attractiveness index produced annually by EY, France has been ranked third in the world (out of forty)behind the US and China, with 650MW of ground solar being awarded long term power purchase agreements by the French Government in the last auctionround of April 2020 with an average selling price for power of €62.11/MWh and an average of €62.14 across the last seven rounds. Innovationsolar, of which floating solar is considered as part of, commanded a price of €82.8/MWh. In addition to this an extra 312MW of solar was awarded in specific tenders and over the next five years France aims to tender and additional 10GW of ground based solar.
Reason 2: Strong policy and incentives
The Multiannual Energy Programme (Programmation Pluriannuelle de l’Energie (PPE)) a ten year trajectory statement issued in November 2018 bythe French Government is intent on reducing fossil fuel consumption and provide a clear, fair and sustainable transition for all. It is aiming to establish 35.6GW of solar power by 2028, from a current size of 10GW which was achieved in Q1 2020. Incentives are in place to promotedevelopment on brown field sites, commercial and industrial enterprise zones and public institutions with a further strong emphasis beingplaced in rural areas. All new retail developments where solar shading is provided for parking must now support solar pv. In total €71 billion of support is intended for the increase of renewable energy (electricity, biogas and renewable heat) up to 2028.
The government is keeping to its commitment to diversify the energy mix and reduce nuclear energy to 50% by 2035, with ¼ of all currently operational reactors being shut down by then as stated in the PPE2. The most recent reactors to be closed are the two reactors at Fessenheim in the Haut Rhin (February and June 2020) and to date 180MW of solar has been dedicated to reactors former site with another tranche of 120MW at the end of July. This is still far short of the reactors generating plate value of 1840MW but it shows the significance and dedication by the government to scale back nuclear and replace with greener technologies. EDF has been asked to propose ways implement the challenges being faced by the PPE by safeguarding the groups integrity and providing adequate funding to meet the outlined commitments. In the period from 2017 to 2020 RTE3 has invested €35 million a year on R&D allowing optimal griddevelopment and grid infrastructure evolution for the transition programme.
Reason 3: Size and innovation
The Government auctions for power purchase agreements for solar farms dictate an upper size of 30MW per site which in turn promotes favourable planning applications. Auction prices are reflected in the type of renewable energy deployed and the sizes permitted. France is alsopromoting the development of innovative solar projects from the use in viticulture4 (leading to reduced water loss and improved quality of thevines) and floating solar projects, which has a potential of up to 20GW spread over approximately 1300 sites