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The emergence of photovoltaics in France in the light of feed-in tariffs: exploring the markets and politics of a modular technology

Abstract : This thesis explores the recent evolutions of photovoltaics in France, and in particular the rise of grid-connected photovoltaics as it was triggered by support policies set up in the 2000s. The chosen actor-network theory approach leads to a material and relational descrption of French photovoltaics as modular technologies whose development was driven by political prices in the shape of feed-in tariffs for PV-generated electricity. From this perspective, the intertwinement of technological evolutions, market-making and politicisation is interrogated. After suggesting a description of photovoltaics as emergent and modular technologies and of feed-in tariffs as political market agencements, the thesis analyses the interwoven trajectories of feed-in tariffs and phootvoltaics in three sites. First, it traces back the constitution of feed-in tariffs as a dominant form of support for photovoltaics in the context of the development of a European policy for renewable energy. It then zooms on the French case, in which the overflowing of the regulated photovoltaic market triggered a political crisis and led to the reconsideration of photovoltaic support schemes. The last case study is a material account of the constitution of feed-in tariffs for PV-generated electricity into an opportunity and a resource for territorial development in the context of a project developed by a rural cooperative in the South West of France.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 4:54:36 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01096977, version 1

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Béatrice Cointe. The emergence of photovoltaics in France in the light of feed-in tariffs: exploring the markets and politics of a modular technology. Sociology. EHESS, 2014. English. ⟨tel-01096977⟩

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