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Large-scale Photovoltaic system integration feasible at modest cost

(PresseBox) (Brussels / London, ) In a report published today in the frame of the European PV Parity project, the authors confirm that large penetration of PV in Europe between 2020 and 2030 can be accommodated at modest costs.

The authors of the report, developed by the Imperial College of London, have analysed and quantified PV system integration costs in 11 key EU markets. The aim was to check the feasibility of installing up to 480 GW PV by 2030, covering about 15% of the European electricity demand. The report shows that not only it is technically feasible but also that the costs of implementing the necessary system integration measures are relatively modest.

One of the major findings is that the back-up capacity cost can be an important component of PV integration costs, especially in Northern Europe (circa €14.5/MWh).This reflects the lower ability of PV to displace conventional generation capacity, compared with Southern Europe where this cost is lower and may be even negative when there is a strong correlation between PV output and peak demands.

The second major cost component of PV integration is the distribution network cost of PV. Reinforcing distribution networks to accommodate PV would cost about €9/MWh by 2030. This cost usually reduces when peak consumption coincides with peak PV production, as it would be the case in Southern Europe.

Another important result of the analysis is that transmission cost linked to the integration of 480 GW PV by 2030 remains modest. In 2020 the cost is estimated circa €0.5/MW, increasing to €2.8/MWh by 2030.

Balancing costs are another analysed component. Costs reflect the fact that more generators run part-loaded to provide additional balancing services and reserves due to the uncertainty in PV generation production. However this cost will remain modest, circa €1/MWh by 2030, assuming full integration of EU balancing market.

To summarize, the study concludes that system integration cost of PV is relatively modest, and it will increase to around €26/MWh by 2030. This information confirms the increasing PV's attractiveness for European economy. This is the conclusion from the Imperial College's researchers. The report also demonstrates that the applications of Demand Response (DR) or storage solutions can be effective to reduce the integration cost of PV, which could decrease by 20% thanks to DR.

The full report can be downloaded here.

On the occasion of the final PV Parity workshop, organised on the 4th of October 2013 in the frame of the 28th EUPVSEC in Paris Nord Villepinte, France, the main results from the project and this report will be presented. You can find more information on this event here:

About PV Parity

The PV PARITY project aims at contributing to the achievement of further PV penetration in the EU electricity market and to the attainment of PV competitiveness at the lowest possible price for the community. The duration for this project is 30 months, starting in June 2011 and ending in November 2013. PV Parity is focusing its analysis on 11 EU countries which are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The PV Parity project is a joint effort of the following partners:

- Coordinator: WIP - Renewable Energies, Germany
- European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA)
- Vienna University of Technology (TUW), Austria
- Imperial Consultants, United Kingdom
- Technical University of Crete, Greece
- ECN, Netherlands
- IDAE, Spain
- Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE), Italy
- Stiftung Umweltenergierecht, Germany
- ENEL Green Power, Italy
- EDF Energies Nouvelles, France

More information on PV Parity: