Finland’s 2017 PV market grows by over 100%

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Finland recorded its best year ever in terms of solar growth last year, as the country saw cumulative installed PV capacity grow from 37.4 MW at the end of 2016, to 80.4 MW at the end of December 2017, according to the National Survey Report of Photovoltaic Applications in Finland 2017, published by IEA PVPS. Of this, 69.8 MW is represented by grid-connected installations, while the remaining 10.6 MW comes from off-grid systems.

Residential systems comprised roughly 30% of capacity, while the commercial and industrial segments accounted for 35%, respectively. The remaining share represents Finland’s only MW-sized solar park – a 3.6 MW plant built by Nurmon Aurinko Oy, near the municipality of Nurmo.

Falling prices

The report reveals that the average price of standard crystalline silicon modules dropped from €0.55/W in 2016 to €0.45/W last year, thus resulting in an almost halved price from 2014, where the average price was €0.85/W.

Average prices of residential turnkey PV systems (up to 10 kW) also dropped from between €2/W and €1.3/W in 2016 to between €1.8/W and €1.2/W last year. Meanwhile, commercial and industrial projects declined from between €1.35/W and €0.95/W in 2016 to between €1.15/W and €0.85/W in 2017.

The authors of the report stressed that Finland currently has no official target for the deployment of solar. The country does, however, has several policies to incentivize solar energy production for self-consumption.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment grants a 25% rebate covering the costs for purchasing and installing a PV system to homeowners, business and communities. Agricultural companies can also apply for a 40% investment subsidy for renewable energy production from the Agency for Rural Affairs.

Furthermore, individuals installing rooftop arrays can take advantage of tax credits, provided the systems are installed as a retrofit to an existing building.

Net metering is also allowed, although the majority of installed electricity meters do not net-meter between phases. “The hourly-based net-metering for individual consumers is under active discussion, and will possibly be implemented later,” the authors of the report wrote. Moreover, power production under the self-consumption regime with a nameplate power of less than 100 kVA, is exempt from the electricity tax.

As for storage and EV, the report notes that investment subsidies are also available.

Looking forward, it said Finland’s installed solar capacity is also expected to double in 2018, without providing further figures.