ETIP PV, the European Technology & Innovation Platform PV, has recently released a report which shows clearly that, in many European countries, photovoltaic energy is cheaper than the average energy price.
Renewable energies are becoming more and more popular as the global market, especially for solar energy, grows continuously. However, many consumers are hesitant to switch, worrying about high investments and costly maintenance and unsure if the effort will pay off eventually.
Photovoltaic energy already competitive in many European countries
In a recent report, ETIP PV, the European Technology & Innovation Platform PV, had a close look at the production costs for PV energy and compared them to the average energy price in different European countries. The conclusion was that in many European countries, solar energy is already competitive. These include Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal and Greece, among others.
What about countries with a lower solar irradiation? According to ETIP PV, even such countries as Sweden and Finland, which go through a darker period every winter, are expected to join the above mentioned countries within the next 5 to 10 years.
Lower module costs caused price development
There is a simple reason for this development: as ETIP PV’s report explains, it is mainly based on the price trend for PV modules and components. As the prices for modules dropped by a remarkable 90% over the past 8 years, the costs for PV installations and thus the production of solar energy sank as well, bringing PV energy prices to a competitive level.
Self-consumption and investment costs adding to equation
However, there is a variety of other factors as well, such as the possible self-consumption. Every self-produced and consumed kilowatt hour will benefit the homeowner’s energy bill and lower it by the respective end consumer price. On the other hand, self-produced energy that is fed to the grid will only bring a very low remuneration.
Before going solar, many consumers will worry mostly about the investment costs, as the price for a new solar installation can easily eat a hole into the household’s budget. Once set up, maintaining the installation is not expensive, but getting there can be. As a result, changes regarding taxation as well as new laws and regulations can strongly affect PV’s competitiveness.
Affordable solar future predicted
Nonetheless, politically stable countries that offer low interest rates, simple technologies and few environmental risks benefit from affordable photovoltaic energy production costs, making solar energy the cheapest production technique. Based upon these circumstances and the recent developments, ETIP PV expects solar energy costs to drop by a further 50% by 2030 and
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