Commercial solar energy costs are now on par with conventionally generated energy in Germany, Italy and Spain, according to the latest edition of a research study carried out by consulting firm Eclareon. Sponsored by SunEdison, BayWa r.e., and Gesternova, the third issue of the Photovoltaic Grid Parity Monitor analyzes PV competitiveness with retail electricity prices for commercial consumers (PV systems of 30 kW).
The price for solar was measured via the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). This measures everything that goes into generating energy, including maintenance, installation, investment, depreciation, and the energy itself. According to the report, the LCOE for solar in Germany, Italy and Spain is equal to that of all other forms of conventionally produced electricity.
Germany produces more than 22 gigawatts of solar energy, making it the world leader and supplying half of its energy through solar.
"Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity. Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over," Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry, told Reuters news agency.
According to Think Progress, the countries with the best grid parity proximity combined with the best regulatory support are Italy and Germany. Mexico has the best regulatory support, but has not quite reached grid parity. France is also fast approaching grid parity.