NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: RESIDENTIAL SOLAR APPROACHES GRID PARITY

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    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    TODAY’S STUDY: RESIDENTIAL SOLAR APPROACHES GRID PARITY

    PV GRID PARITY MONITOR; Residential Sector 3rd issue

    Briano, et. al., February 2015, Creara Energy Experts)

    Executive Summary

    This is the 5th issue of the Grid Parity Monitor (GPM) Series, the 3 rd issue of the residential segment. This issue focuses exclusively on the residential sector (3 kW PV systems) in 12 countries spread in 5 different continents. Two new markets in Asia (Japan and Israel) are included in this latest GPM release, in addition to the 10 countries analyzed in previous issues: Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, UK and California in the US. The GPM analyses show that full grid parity has been reached in several countries: Australia, Chile (Copiapó), Germany, Italy, Japan and Mexico for DAC consumers. The decreasing trend of installation costs, one of the main drivers of the cost of PV generation (expressed as LCOE), has recently slowed down in mature markets. Overall, from 2009 to 2014, the LCOE in the residential segment decreased in all of the cities analysed: from a 28% annual decline in Australia to a 5% in Spain. Figure 1: Evolution of PV LCOE for residential consumers from 2009 to 2014 (1st half)

    As well as Grid Parity proximity, regulatory support to grid parity (mainly via net metering or net billing mechanisms) varies significantly from country to country. These two variables (“Grid Parity Proximity” and “Regulatory support to PV self-consumption”) are represented in the Figure below

    • PV Grid Parity is being delayed in the UK and Brazil, due to low irradiation levels in the former and a relatively high discount rate and system prices in the latter.

    • In France and Japan, the regulatory framework does not foster the selfconsumption market, as the FiT received for the energy exported to the grid is higher than the retail price of electricity1 .

    • California has a trendsetting net metering policy and generous incentives that enable high margins throughout the entire value chain.

    • In Spain, although a clear grid parity situation exists, there is currently no regulation to foster the self-consumption market by enabling self-consumers to feed their excess generation into the grid in exchange for a compensation.

    • In Chile and Israel, grid parity and governmental support represent an excellent opportunity to develop a sustainable PV market based on selfconsumption. This is clearly seen in Australia, Italy and Germany, which are already in full grid parity.

    • In Mexico, the combination of grid parity and an effective regulation generates an attractive investment opportunity for DAC consumers. This economic reality should lead to the creation of PV markets based on selfconsumption PV systems, especially in countries where grid parity is more evident.

    This is something already happening in some cases, albeit not without additional challenges:

    • The absence of conscious consumers, which is sometimes the reason why market creation is limited.

    • The operation of the electricity system, which becomes more complex with higher penetration of distributed generation.

    • The current design of electricity tariffs, which in many cases fails to make the business model of utilities compatible with that of self-consumers.

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