Environmental Politics, vol 24, janvier 2017
The development of renewable energy is one manifestation of current transformations in the organisation of European energy production and markets. To illuminate the changes triggered by renewable energy policy, the evolution of solar photovoltaic policy in France is analysed with a focus on its central instrument, feed-in tariffs (FITs). FITs for photovoltaics raised difficulties in many countries, but their effects were particularly dramatic in France. Market sociology and science and technology studies are employed to describe FITs as agencements organising the markets and politics of electricity production. FITs are considered as inherently unpredictable insofar as they encourage innovation and the emergence of new actors. The ways in which three successive agencements of FITs for photovoltaics framed the politics and economy of photovoltaics in France, and how they addressed unanticipated effects, are discussed. This is suggestive of transformations and tensions in the construction of French energy policy.