The PV LEGAL project finds legal and administrative obstacles to the deployment of solar PV continue to exist in many EU Member States.
PV LEGAL, a two-and-a-half-year European initiative looking at 12 key countries has found mixed results on the state of the solar PV market.
In some countries, improvements have been observed. For example, developing a residential system is much quicker in France, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Online registration systems, less stringent permitting requirements, and one-stop shop systems have helped reduce the time required to process requests.
However, in Spain, overly burdensome bureaucracy is the reason for needing an incredible 89 weeks to develop a commercial rooftop system. Complying with these regulations and grid connection processes represents almost half the development cost of a project. The same is true in Bulgaria and in the United Kingdom.
Dave Sowden, Chief Executive of the Micropower Council, one of the PV Legal Partners, said: “Although there has been considerable progress in the UK towards the removal of administrative obstacles, there are still several barriers around grid connection for installations larger than 4kW and Building Control requirements for domestic installations that must be addressed.”
“Removal of unnecessary legal and administrative hurdles will be a key factor in bringing down the installed cost of solar PV, helping the industry to reduce its dependence on subsidy over time and increasing affordability.”
The report adds that since PV will play an important role in the EU renewable energy share in 2020, it is important to make sure that the development of this technology is not hindered by administrative barriers.
Lowering administrative costs will improve the cost-effectiveness of investments in photovoltaic systems, thus stimulating higher investment volumes and giving leverage to the national authorities to reduce financial support.
Grid connection difficulties remain the greatest bottleneck to efficient deployment of photovoltaic systems. Lengthy procedures, a lack of clarity around rules or excessive and unpredictable costs are some of the main barriers encountered in most of the markets studied in the project.
The PV LEGAL project is finalising at the end of February but this is not the end of the story.
In May 2012, a new project called “PV GRID will begin a deep analysis of PV grid integration. It will continue the work started by PV LEGAL, and include more stakeholders, including distribution system operators.
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