Solar PV has reached grid parity in Spain, Germany and Italy according to a new report by the consultancy Eclareon.
According to its annual Photovoltaic Grid Parity Monitor(GPM), the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for self-consumed commercial solar was competitive with retail electricity prices.
The study, sponsored by SunEdison, BayWa and Spanish renewable electricity provider Gesternova, looked at seven markets: Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Spain.
It found that of the European countries studied, all but France were now able to offer PV at prices that compete with the grid.
Higher solar irradiance compensates for the lower cost of retail electricity in these markets.
Latin American countries still have high PV install costs according to the report but policy support could help to overcome this and the falling cost of power that delays the achievement of parity.
“In countries such as Brazil and Mexico, self-consumption is being encouraged by an effective regulatory mechanism, which allows prosumers to feed their excess generation into the grid for later consumption,” said David Pérez, partner of Eclareon in charge of the study.
“In countries such as Italy and Germany, both at grid parity and with proper regulation, PV systems for self-consumption represent a viable, cost-effective, and sustainable power generation alternative,” said Pérez.
The study’s results match closely with those of the European Photovoltaics Industry Association (EPIA) and the PV Parity Project, which found that Spain, Germany, Portugal and Italy would hit grid parity for commercial solar first.
Spain and Italy have both retroactively cut support for renewables and enforced charges on self-consumption. Germany is currently looking to establish a charge on self-consumption.