French parliament

Recently passed legislation in France has mandated that the roofs of all new buildings in commercial areas must be so-called green roofs, which are at least partially covered in either solar modules or with living plants.

As well as potentially delivering a boost to installed solar capacity across the country, green roofs provide a thermal insulating effect and moderate rain run-off, while also boosting biodiversity.

Though more limited in scope than originally envisaged by environmental groups — the law only requires partial (50%) coverage of commercial buildings while the green movement wanted the entire roof to be covered — it does at least signal a willingness to engage with renewable energy policy issues by the government, which has seen solar development in the country effectively stall over the last few years.