EPIA launches European Photovoltaic Observatory

07. September 2010 | EU PVSEC 2010, Industry & Suppliers | By:  Becky Stuart

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has launched a European Photovoltaic Observatory at this year’s EU PVSEC, designed to identify “beneficial conditions” for market development and best practices for sustainable development of PV, in addition to promoting market transparency and harmonization across Europe.

Ingmar Wilhelm

Ingmar Wilhelm. Image: EPIA.

The association said the observatory was established in response to the “fast evolution of the European PV market over the recent years and the evident need for a permanent monitoring of PV market dynamics”.

It added that it is structured around three main recommendations:

  1. Sustainable support schemes
    For several years now, commented EPIA, feed-in tariffs (FITs) have proven their ability to develop the market in many areas of the world and are today unilaterally recognized as the most effective instrument. However, it said that to avoid market stagnation or overheat, the FIT level must be adapted on a regular basis, in order to integrate the dynamic evolution of technological progress and increasing cost competitiveness of PV systems.
  2. Streamlined administrative procedures
    The creation of a “one stop-shop” for all relevant authorizations is recommended by EPIA, together with the reduction of administrative lead times.
  3. Efficient grid connection processes
    The Observatory also provides an analysis of grid access conditions, of the possibility to transmit and distribute the produced electricity and of specific legal requirements related to the grid connection, explained the association.

EPIA president, Ingmar Wilhelm, continued by saying that while PV still requires political support in order to sustainably reach full cost competitiveness with traditional energy sources, the Photovoltaic Observatory represents “an essential instrument to advise national and European decision-makers for the successful implementation of their support policies”.

The Observatory report is now available on the EPIA website. Starting with key PV markets in Europe, EPIA has said it will be progressively complemented with analyses of additional countries world-wide and also deepen the information on all markets under survey.

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