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EU PVSEC: Solar could grow 25-30% per year

Solar could see an annual growth of 25-30% per year, according to Winfried Hoffmann, President of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), at the opening of the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Germany.

In order to achieve this annual growth in solar, the solar industry must work hard and increase volumes, Hoffmann said.

He also warned, that efforts from the solar industry alone is not enough if Europe is to see solar penetration of over 6%. Europe must implement smart grids, energy storage, etc., for large amounts of solar to be viable. A continuation of feed-in tariffs is also important.

Asked about when solar will reach grid-parity, Hoffmann said this is very hard to define -  "it's not a specific number". It depends on the region/market, whether one looks at peak or offpeak power prices, and/or peak production costs. If looking at the latter, Hoffmann suggested that the solar industry has reached grid parity in several places already. This does not mean, however, that Hoffmann believes it is time to cut off feed-in tariffs for solar. They will still be needed for quite some time.

Joachim Nick-Lepin at the German Federal Environmental Ministry added that the solar industry must not be too reliant on the German market alone, adding that countries such as France, Italy and Greece are seeing positive developments for solar power.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity  •  Solar heating and cooling