Photovoltaic Solar Energy: Full grid-parity is about to be achieved

Ingmar Wilhelm, European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) president and Head of EGP Business Development, explains how solar power PV is becoming increasingly competitive.

Solar light is not only an inextinguishable source of energy, but it is also a cost-effective solution. As explained by Ingmar Wilhelm, Head of EGP Business Development and president of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), in an article that was published on the Sole 24 Ore, Italy’s major financial newspaper.

According to Wilhelm there will be a turning point in 2014, when a number of markets will register grid-parity for solar photovoltaic, compared with conventional energy sources. By 2020 it will be extended to various European countries.

To support his view, Wilhelm quotes a study, Solar Photovoltaics competing in the energy sector – On the road to competitiveness, drawn up by EPIA supported by the strategic counseling firm AT. Kearney.

The report examined the 5 major European countries (Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain), and its conclusion was undoubtedly optimistic: photovoltaic production costs will fall by about 50% by 2020.

At present, photovoltaic still costs more than fossil fuels. Several countries have set up complex financial supporting systems aimed at offsetting this difference. Nevertheless, Wilhelm explains that «as the competiveness gap narrows, thanks to technology developments and the parallel cost reduction, PV will depend gradually less on financial support, until these support schemes will disappear».

Thus, PV will be a cost-effective instrument that will help reach European targets as regards greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, Wilhelm said that «it will allow European citizens to become “prosumers”: producers who also consume their own electricity, with competitive fees».

Enel Green Power is also taking part in a tender for a 150MW concentrating solar power (CSP) in Morocco.