Photovoltaic industry substantially revises its target to supply 12% of European electricity demand by 2020

(PresseBox) ( Brussels, )
- Competitiveness with retail electricity prices will be achieved earlier than expected in major energy markets
- Industry is committed to increasing investment to accelerate cost reductions provided that appropriate political support is ensured in the individual member states, in harmony with the European framework, until competitiveness is reached.

Over 4000 scientists and 750 companies gathered this week in Valencia to present significant innovations in the field of solar photovoltaic energy.

EPIA, The European Photovoltaic Industry Association gathered together, on the 2nd of September the 50 top CEOs of the industry in an exclusive meeting to redefine industry objectives in the light of recent technology progress and the context of rising energy prices. The industry unanimously agreed that photovoltaic energy could provide 12% of European electricity demand by 2020. The evolution of solar photovoltaic technology will be quicker than previously announced.

Grid parity (competitiveness with retail electricity prices) will be reached progressively from 2010 onwards in several European markets. Countries with the highest solar irradiation and higher electricity prices, such as Italy and Spain have the potential to reach grid parity starting in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Grid parity will be reached in Germany in 2015 and cover progressively most other EU countries up until 2020.

Grid parity means that, for consumers, photovoltaic electricity will be cheaper than the expected retail electricity price. Photovoltaic electricity will become the most economic choice in grid parity markets.

The industry is committed to increasing investment levels to accelerate cost reductions, provided that the appropriate political framework is in place:

- Appropriate Feed-in Tariffs bridging the crucial period until grid parity is reached,
- Simplified administrative environment,
- Priority access to the grid,
- Implementation of the ambitious Strategic Energy Technology plan (SET Plan) at European level to boost Research, Development and Deployment efforts.

EPIA will initiate consultation with other renewable technologies in order to coordinate efforts within a global renewable scenario. The target of 20% renewables in the European end energy mix by 2020 may be exceeded under such a cooperation scenario.

More clean and distributed solar electricity means more local jobs across European regions.
Additionally, new export opportunities will be created due to competitiveness being reached even quicker in emerging and developing countries, given higher solar irradiation.

Ernesto Macías, EPIA President and Communication General Manager at Isofoton, is calling for "common efforts of the photovoltaic sector to make this technology a real solution to global energy challenge. I urge the Spanish Government to remain supportive to the photovoltaic sector in a sustainable way".
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