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Understanding the economics of solar panel installation in France (2023)

This article explores the various ways in which photovoltaic installations can help you save money while contributing to France's energy transition.

To illustrate, let's take the concrete example of a French company consuming 100 MWh/year (100,000 kWh/year) and with a photovoltaic system producing 30 MWh/year. This equates to around 75 solar panels with a capacity of 430 Wp (Wp: power under standard conditions), giving an installed capacity of 32,250 Wp (Wp: power under standard conditions)

1. Photovoltaic self-consumption, save energy :

With solar panels, part of the energy produced is consumed directly on site, reducing your dependence on the electricity grid. On average, for a household in France, it is estimated that 30 to 40% of the energy produced is consumed by the household. This means you'll buy less electricity from the grid, which translates into savings on your annual electricity bill.

Pour une entreprise, le taux d'autoconsommation dépend largement du profil de l'entreprise. Il est essentiel d'analyser ce profil en détail pour estimer la rentabilité d'une installation (nous vous recommandons de consulter l'un de nos experts gratuitement). Dans notre exemple, nous avons supposé un taux d'autoconsommation de 50 %.

In our example :

With a self-consumption rate of 50%, of the 30 MWh of electricity produced, 15 MWh will be consumed directly by the company. For our calculation, we assume an electricity purchase price of €300/MWh (i.e. €0.30/kWh).

Energy savings are calculated as follows:

Energy savings = 30 MWh (production) x 70% (self-consumption) x €300 (purchase price/MWh) = €6,300/year.

Over a 10-year period, the total savings amount to €63,000, without taking into account the average increase in energy prices (3%/year) and even more since the war in Ukraine!

2. Sale of surplus energy:

When your solar panels produce more energy than you consume, the surplus is fed into the grid. This surplus energy can be sold, generating additional income. The selling price is lower than the purchase price, because the latter does not include network and other costs that are included in the purchase from your supplier. Depending on the quantity of energy resold and the feed-in tariff in force, this source of income can make a significant contribution to your savings.

To illustrate, let's take our example:

With a self-consumption rate of 70%, the injection rate is 30%. A quarter of the 30 MWh produced will be resold, i.e. 7.5 MWh. We have assumed an average resale price of €70/MWh (or €0.70/kWh) from your electricity supplier.

Electricity resale =

30 MWh (production) x 30% (injection) x €70 (resale price/MWh) = €630/year.

Over 10 years, the income generated by the resale of electricity amounts to around €6,300, without taking into account the increase in energy prices (3%/year on average).

As you can see, the higher the self-consumption rate, the greater the savings. It is therefore strongly recommended that you adapt your consumption so that you consume as much of your own energy as possible, rather than selling it back to your supplier.. Of course, the most effective way to reduce bills is to try to reduce consumption.

In short, the more you use your own energy, the more you save and the more you earn.

Comparison of financial benefits by region :

Given that an installation of 75 430-Watt peak (Wp) panels costs around €35,000 (indicative price, to be refined according to the project!), it will pay for itself in between 3 and 6 years, depending on the region and self-consumption.

Warehouse in Northern France


Installing solar panels in France offers an attractive return on investment in terms of energy and cost savings. Fluctuating energy prices and wartime conditions can make it worthwhile for entrepreneurs and homeowners to install photovoltaic systems and recoup their investment in just a few years. To maximize their financial savings, here are three essential approaches

  1. Reduce energy consumption :: This can be achieved by improving building insulation, upgrading essential equipment to more efficient versions, replacing traditional lighting sources with LEDs, or eliminating superfluous consumer appliances.
  2. Self-consumption: By directly consuming the solar energy generated by the panels, homeowners can reduce their dependence on electricity suppliers, resulting in lower monthly (or annual) bills. This is particularly advantageous when the company uses energy-intensive equipment during the day.
  3. Resale of surplus electricity : If the photovoltaic system generates surplus energy, it can be resold to an electricity supplier. This approach not only generates additional income, but also optimizes savings.
  • (Bonus) Solar panel lifespan: Solar panels are designed to last for decades, typically between 25 and 30 years. By maintaining them regularly and ensuring their proper functioning, homeowners can maximize their savings over the lifetime of the panels.

In addition to the financial benefits, using solar energy helps to preserve the environment and combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Installing solar panels in France is a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution for homeowners who want to save money while promoting energy sustainability.


If you'd like to find out more about our offers for immediate installation or evaluate the potential profitability of your future solar panels, please contact us or request a quote.