The cost of solar energy has been a main focus of attention ever since panels started to appear on more and more household rooftops. This is why, Eclareon, an European-based renewable energy and energy efficiency consultancy company, took on the task to investigate the extent to which solar has been integrated into the international energy market.
Their findings indicated that solar energy in Europe now costs just as much as any other non-renewable energy, while in the examined countries across the ocean, high installation costs are still standing in the way of generating competitive solar power.
The study is based on data collected from Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico and Chile. The researchers, who shaped up the report, took into account the standard 30 kilowatt solar power system in all these countries, and drew conclusions on the so-called “leveled cost of energy”, or LCOE. The factors that are included here are installation, maintenance, depreciation and investment, all contributing to the overall price of electricity.
The findings indicated that in Italy, Germany and Spain, solar energy now costs just as much as the power generated through conventional methods. For the rest of the countries of interest, such energy parity has not been achieved simply due to the high costs associated with installation of photovoltaic systems.
The authors make quite an interesting remark regarding the situation in Spain. There, the government has introduced regulations, which might prevent further development in the field of solar power generation, although the already existing infrastructure is just as well-established, as it is in Germany and Italy. These refer to the fact that it is now illegal for private solar panel owners to use their own energy.
Regarding Germany, the news was more than great. The country has been continuously setting records in solar energy production, and it is likely that the trend will continue. In a way, it is no surprise that the figures are impressive, considering the plan of the current government to completely eliminate nuclear and hit the 45% renewable energy production by 2025. The number currently stands at 20%.
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