European grid project seeks to overcome PV integration challenges

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A two-year European Commission-funded project has been launched to investigate ways of integrating more PV electricity into the European grid.

The so-called PV Grid project is being led by a consortium of 20 members — consisting of national PV associations, distribution system operators, universities and consultants — and will examine the practical challenges preventing greater grid integration of PV in Europe.

The project is being funded by the European Commission’s Intelligent Energy for Europe programme and will run until October 2014.

Its launch follows the completion of the PV Legal project which came to an end in February 2012. The PV Legal project was a flagship project of the Intelligent Energy Programme which sought to remove grid-related barriers in Europe. PV Grid has been set up by the same consortium which established PV Legal.

The PV Legal consortium had previously highlighted the grid integration of PV systems as one of the main barriers to the further development of PV in Europe. It noted that distribution grids in several European countries are struggling to deal with very high shares of PV generation. As a result, the grids are experiencing technical, economic and administrative challenges.

The new project will continue PV Legal’s work and focus on overcoming this barrier which has also been identified as an important issue for Europe’s energy future. Specifically, the PV Grid project will seek to identify ways to overcome regulatory technical challenges hampering the large-scale integration of PV power into electricity distribution systems across Europe.

The consortium highlights the necessity for PV to integrate seamlessly into the electricity grid as it becomes a mature and mainstream technology. In order to facilitate this, changes will be required from grid operators, policymakers and the PV industry itself, the consortium said.

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