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SOLAR PV could be similar to the shale gas disruption for the utilities industry

2015

Solar PV has become a high growth market globally. The increase in 2014 in solar PV capacity of 39 GW is close to the nuclear power capacity of Japan and total global capacity now stands at 177 GW. Solar PV is installed on rooftops of houses and commercial building and at a utility-scale on landscapes. In Europe, traditional utilities are absent in this market segment. "Utilities own less than 1% of all solar PV capacity. Project developers, investors, households and commercial companies have started to compete with the utilities in power generation," according to Eric Confais, partner in the Paris office of Roland Berger

In Europe, more and more households and commercial players are expected to make the decision to invest in solar PV and install it on their rooftop. An investment in solar PV will only become more attractive over time, as system costs will continue to decline. In Germany, the price of solar PV is already 17 cents/kWh cheaper than the retail electricity price. New technologies, like battery storage and home automation systems will raise the amount of solar PV electricity that will be used by the owner himself, preventing the excess generated electricity being sold at lower prices on the grid. Improved access to financing and simple installation services offers will make it even simpler to buy a solar PV system.

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