The eighth edition of the study “PV Grid Parity Monitor” shows that photovoltaic grid parity has been achieved (when the cost of generating photovoltaic electricity is equal to the cost of electricity on the grid, assuming that 100% of the PV electricity is instantly self-consumed) in the commercial segment in Germany, Italy, Mexico and Spain.
The Grid Parity Monitor (GPM), a report by the consultant CREARA, sponsored by BayWa and Gesternova and collaboration of Copper Alliance, analyzes the competitiveness of photovoltaic technology compared to price of electricity in the network for commercial consumers and assesses the regulation for self-consumption in a relatively sunny city in seven different countries: Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Spain.
In Spain, high installation costs
As identified in the study, in the first half of 2015, the cost of photovoltaic energy (LCOE expressed through the leveled cost of electricity) in the commercial segment decreased in all cities surveyed (compared with the situation in 2012). The study highlights some more recent trends (2014-2015):
• EPC Prices in countries with mature PV markets such as Germany and Italy, have remained virtually constant.
• In Latin American countries, the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar has produced a spike in the cost of PV system.
• In Spain, to qualify for the simplified legalization of photovoltaic systems, installing zero injection kits which have increased installation costs is required.
Prices maturity in Europe
In Chile and Brazil, despite increases in the retail prices of electricity, the high installation costs make the grid parity for PV is still a long way.
For its part, Mexico is the country among Latin American countries studied with the best result for PV grid parity. However, the downward trend in electricity prices over the last year and the uncertainty surrounding the new liberalized electricity market (expected in 2016) could lead to major changes in subsequent editions of the GPM.
By contrast, European countries show signs of maturity in the photovoltaic market: grid parity was achieved in Germany, Italy and Spain in 2013, remaining stable since then. The only exception is France, where the dual effect of higher installation costs and relatively low prices makes PV grid parity remote is still a long way.
The study stresses that the parity of photovoltaic grid alone does not guarantee market creation. Jose Ignacio Briano, director of the Consulting Department in Creara, says that “to develop the PV market it is necessary to have legislation which, on the one hand, allow the excess energy be valued and, on the other hand, minimize administrative barriers “.
As its competitiveness further increases it will be increasingly necessary to adapt the electricity distribution network and its financing to a changing reality where the interests of all stakeholders are considered. “
The GPM is positioned as one of the most complete analysis of PV competitiveness to date: it is based on a rigorous and transparent methodology (detailed in the report), using actual and updated data, including real budgets (of turnkey facilities) provided by local and international installers with a presence in the countries studied. It also provides specific and detailed information by country (or city, in some cases) such as the discount rate, prices of electricity in the grid and the inflation rate.