Photovoltaic energy could provide 12% of European electricity demand by 2020, a conference has heard.
More than 4,000 scientists and 750 companies gathered in Valencia recently to present significant innovations in the field of solar photovoltaic energy to EPIA, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association.
The industry unanimously agreed that the evolution of solar photovoltaic technology will be quicker than previously announced. Grid parity (competitiveness with retail electricity prices) will be reached progressively from 2010 onwards in several European markets. Countries with the highest solar irradiation and higher
electricity prices, such as Italy and Spain have the potential to reach grid parity starting in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Grid parity will be reached in Germany in 2015 and cover progressively most other EU countries up until 2020.
Grid parity means that, for consumers, photovoltaic electricity will be cheaper than the expected retail electricity price. The industry is committed to increasing investment levels to accelerate cost reductions, provided that the appropriate political framework is in place:
• Appropriate Feed-in Tariffs bridging the crucial period until grid parity is reached
• Simplified administrative environment
• Priority access to the grid
• Implementation of the ambitious Strategic Energy Technology plan (SET Plan) at European level to boost Research, Development and Deployment efforts.
EPIA will initiate consultation with other renewable technologies in order to coordinate efforts within a global renewable scenario. The target of 20% renewables in the European end energy mix by 2020 may be exceeded under such a cooperation scenario.