Paris to everyone: Buy French solar panels, forget all competitors

By Giorgio Leali | 04/08/2024 06:54 AM EDT

Bruno Le Maire’s urgings may run afoul of EU rules.

PARIS ― France wants everyone buying French solar panels — and it’s not being subtle.

“I call on big decisionmakers, energy companies and solar parks developers … to massively resort to ‘Made in France’ panels,” France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Friday as he visited a solar park in southern France equipped with Malaysian panels.

Le Maire said favoring French-made solar products over their foreign rivals was the goal of France’s “solar pact,” a new initiative to revive the wilting sector, which is losing out to heavily subsidized Chinese competition. The initiative technically encourages businesses to buy European panels, but Le Maire was explicit: He wants France to come first.


Le Maire’s urgings may run afoul of EU rules. In principle, the EU bans measures that favor one country’s companies over another for public contracts.