A major update to the PV grid integration database has taken place, shedding light on the relative ability of differing European countries to integrate PV into their electricity distribution grids.
The database allows installers and developers to drill down into the obstacles which impede different countries’ progress in delivering PV grid integration, such as legal and administrative requirements.
For example, it can take four times as long to get residential and commercial systems online in France as it can in Germany, with the legal requirements taking up to ten times longer.
Similarly, whilst Greece is nearly three times quicker to install residential systems than France, it is twice as slow at installing commercial systems. This is despite the manufacturing, delivery, and installation phases of a project being markedly quicker in Greece.
Overall, Germany is the quickest at installing residential and commercial systems whilst Sweden is the slowest. Bulgaria would appear to be the most expensive, with between 70 and 90 percent of the cost of installation going on legal fees compared to Germany’s 2–7%.
The figures are revealing not just because they expose the huge differences between differing countries’ willingness to promote PV grid integration, but also how well they are progressing towards the EU’s renewables targets. These were established in 2009 and set an enforceable percentage for each country to achieve by 2020.
So, Sweden has the highest renewable targets at 49%, but has one of the slowest PV grid integration rates, taking up to 120 weeks for both residential and commercial installations to be completed. Interesting.
Whilst many US states have introduced renewables targets similar to the EU’s, some of which are enforceable, I’ve yet to see a similar comparison of what the obstacles are in each state to promoting PV grid integration. Given the EIA’s recent analysis of PV grid connectivity, it would make interesting reading.
Chris is a seasoned sustainability journalist focusing on business, finance and clean technology. His writing's been carried by a number of highly respected publishers, including The Guardian, The Washington Post and Scientific American. You can follow him on twitter as @britesprite, where he's one of Mashable's top green tweeters and Fast Company's CSR thought leaders. Alternatively you can follow him to the shops... but that would be boring.