Commercial PV is a profitable business in Sweden, study

A pilot study conducted by the Swedish energy agency Energimyndigheten has shown that an increasing number of enterprises is considering the installation of a commercial PV system as a profitable investment.

The study, which is still at a preliminary stage, was based on interviews made with representatives of ten companies that installed a PV system on their properties, of which six adopted a rooftop solution and four built a ground-mounted installation. Although the number of companies of the survey is still limited, Energimyndigheten said, all of them have stated that solar PV is a profitable investment for their business and that they expect their investment will be paid-off within a period of seven to nine years.

“We get full control of our power costs and we can customize our production accordingly. I think that solar can be a profitable investment for all manufacturing companies,” said Jan Blad, the CEO of local cable manufacturer Amokabel, which was one of the enterprises interviewed by Energimyndigheten.

The study shows that rooftop PV remains the most bankable option especially with a self-consumption rate of around 90%. “Our study was initially focused on the costs of PV, but all the interviewed companies have stressed the importance of the projects’ profitability, and many of them, not all, have stated that solar would be an interesting investment also without incentives,” stated Sara Grettve from Energimyndigheten.

Commercial PV is becoming popular again in Sweden, after the government decided to reduce the tax for renewable energy power generators over 255 kW by 98%. The Swedish Parliament approved the government’s proposal to effectively cancel the tax on power generated by commercial PV systems for self-consumption in mid-May.

The Swedish government is supporting residential and commercial PV through a rebate program. Energimyndigheten provided SEK 225 million ($25.6 million) in funds for the program in 2017. Under the program, homeowners and private or public companies are entitled to receive a rebate that covers part of the cost of installing a PV system. A single PV project is eligible to receive financial support up to a maximum SEK 1.2 million ($136,742). The cost of a project cannot exceed SEK 37,000 ($4,216) per kW installed.