Something we all have been waiting for: Grid parity of Solar PV.
But what does it actually mean? There are many different opinions and benchmarks, and dependent on who the discussion is being conducted with, these parameters shift. Sometimes based on facts, sometimes on political interest, or on economical goals.
In Europe 11 countries have put their heads together and founded the PV Parity project, let's see what they found:
In the residential segment the earliest date on which competitiveness can be achieved and the latest one varies widely for the different target countries, with the time range due to irradiation differences, the maturity of each national PV market (which influences cost of capital and thus PV system costs) and the level of retail electricity prices in each country.
According to the results, grid parity is starting to be achieved already in Germany, Southern Italy, Netherlands and Spain in 2012; they should be followed by Northern Italy, Portugal and Austria in the next two years and then progressively by other countries. By the end of the decade, depending on how prices will evolve but also the cost of financing, grid parity could be achieved in all target countries.
The consortium also has analysed the commercial/industrial and the utility scale segments. Detailed results of the simulation are available at the following link. http://www.pvparity.eu/results/.
Exciting times! Would love to see something like this project in Australia though.