As the energy crisis does not seem to be about to end, more and more French people are betting on photovoltaics to achieve energy savings. But between the different types of solar panels and their profitability, difficult to navigate. La Dépêche takes stock.
The photovoltaic sector is booming. According to a report by the Ember think-tank, an organization specializing in energy, 18 of the 27 EU member countries recorded solar energy production records this summer, in particular the Netherlands (23% of its electricity mix), Germany (19%) and Spain. (17%).
But while Emmanuel Macron called on the French last Monday to be “at the date of sobriety”, more and more households, anxious to pay off their energy bills, are installing solar panels on the roof of their house. Thinking of taking the leap yourself? We explain everything you need to know.
How do solar panels work?
Simply put, solar panels capture the energy from the sun’s rays and convert it into electricity. There are two types of solar energy: thermal energy, which is used to power a heating circuit and produce hot water, and photovoltaic energy, which is used to generate electricity and power lighting or various devices in your home.
Its principle is based on self-consumption: you consume the electricity you produce and, in a way, you become your own energy provider. But it is also possible that you inject part of the generated energy and even the entire production into the public electricity grid.
What is electricity saving?
According to data from Engie, photovoltaic electricity saves between 200 and 600 euros per year. Although this figure depends, of course, on the calibration of your panels, you can expect to write off up to “20% of your energy consumption,” explains Aurian de Maupeou, co-founder of Selectra, a company specializing in comparing electricity offers. .
If it is possible to resell its energy to EDF, the calculation today “is no longer really profitable”, warns Aurian de Maupeou. “It is not very advantageous: when you consume your own energy, you pay 17.4 cents per kilowatt hour. If you sell it to EDF, it’s 10 cents per kilowatt hour. The calculation is done quickly”, continues the expert.
With these items in mind, if you’re considering taking the course yourself, know that you’re certainly eligible for state aid. Indeed, due to the environmental benefit offered by photovoltaic self-consumption, various aids can be offered.
First of all, you can benefit from a photovoltaic self-consumption voucher. To do this, you just need to install solar panels and consume your own electricity production. The amount of the bonus is decreasing, and varies according to the power of your installation. It can range from €80 per peak kilowatt (or kWp) for the most powerful installations to €380/kWp for the weakest.
Second, you can benefit from a reduced VAT rate. Indeed, “photovoltaic installations connected to the grid with a power less than or equal to 3 kWp can benefit from a VAT rate of 10%”, can be read on the customer service website.
How much does it cost to install them?
According to the Hellowatt site, specialized in optimizing the energy bill, an investment of between 9,000 and 23,000 euros is needed for any installation between 3 and 9 kWp. But this price can of course vary depending on different factors, such as the power, the technology used or the brand. The geographical area in which you live is also essential, since it determines the level of insolation that the panels can benefit from.
Very specifically, for a medium-sized house (112 m2) located in metropolitan France, you have to count “between 9,000 and 12,000 euros”, explains Kévin, advisor to CR2P, supplier of solar energy equipment.
Finally, keep in mind that solar panels are generally profitable after 8 years. As for its useful life, it varies around 30 years on average.
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