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The quest for grid parity has been a long one

The quest for grid parity has been a long one, but it seems as if the new solar dawn is finally arriving in many European nations. But then, it all depends who you ask…

“Basically everything (in the industry) is bound to grow still further. Growing further means less cost. Less cost means grid parity.

“We have been surprised in the past five years at the drop in prices. It’s due to good incentive programmes first in Germany then Spain and Italy. That created a kind of a boom that was helping industry to reduce costs and get into profitability. And when an industry is in profit it drives on its own… What I would like to see is the finance sector saying solar power is a product like financing a house – except they can predict the value of the solar panel much more safely than they can predict the value of the house in a volatile market.

“Electricity will never be given away free. Banks should offer mortgages on people’s solar panels like they do on homes – the bank should own the panel, then it would transfer to the householder when the loan has been paid off. It would be perfect for life assurances”
Dr Heinz Ossenbrink, EU Energy Institute

“The target of the sector as a whole is to reach grid parity in almost all of Europe over the next 10 years. So by 2020 we should have grid parity in most of Europe”
Professor Wim Sinke, from Utrecht University in the Netherlands

“Generally there is a good and ever improving investment case for solar PV, particularly at the residential level; PV is an investment grade technology due to its long life, reliability and predictability, and is seen as a valuable and low risk asset class for investors of many different types”
Spokesman for UK Photovoltaic Manufacturers Association

“When you reach grid parity, you have a watershed moment where the perceptions of investors and consumers shift. People have been programmed to believe solar is expensive and takes a hundred years to pay back, but when parity arrives people realise it takes 8-10 years to payback, and they can then be making money out of it”
Derry Newman, CEO, Solarcentury UK


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