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National Policies

SUSTAINABLE SUPPORT SCHEMES

National policy frameworks continue to drive the growth of PV markets, and will do so until PV becomes fully competitive with conventional electricity. Sustainable support schemes are essential to ensure a long term development of PV markets. Thanks to its large network of contacts, EPIA is constantly following and analysing national policies in Europe, in order to advise national stakeholders (companies, associations, regulators, administration) on the most effective way to run support schemes now and in the future.

EPIA’s main recommendations for support schemes are:

  • The use of Feed-in Tariffs or similar schemes as the most successful support scheme to deploy PV. As competitiveness approaches, transition schemes will be required (self-consumption premium, net-metering); a case-by-case analysis is needed to advise on the best solution for each country 

  • Transparency of electricity costs for customers

  • Regular assessments of the profitability of support schemes to stay within fair return levels, with necessary adaptations to avoid boom-and-burst effects

  • A dynamic market control mechanism to avoid “stop-and-go” policies and allow for a sustainable growth path

  • Roadmaps to PV competitiveness to understand under which conditions and until when PV support will be needed 

In addition to sustainable support schemes, streamlined administrative procedures and adequate certification schemes for installers are essential to develop the market in the long term.

OVERVIEW OF SUPPORT SCHEMES EXTENDED AND REVAMPED - EXCLUSIVELY FOR MEMBERS

EPIA has extended, updated and revamped its quarterly overview of support schemes in Europe. The overview provides a synthetic, though complete overview of existing support schemes for PV in 31 countries in Europe (EU 28, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine).

It now includes the following information:

  • Definition of the various type of support schemes
  • Overview of electricity prices for three main types of consumers (residential, commercial, industrial) in Europe
  • Overview of existing self-consumption and net-metering schemes in Europe and comparative case studies for residential schemes
  • Synthetic overview of the support framework in place in each country and more details for each type of support

The overview of support schemes is constantly reviewed by our team and cross-checked with national stakeholders, in particular with national associations.

The Full Version overview of support schemes is exclusively reserved to EPIA Members. For more information on the benefits of EPIA membership, click here

Please log in to the Members Area of the website to access the FULL VERSION of the Overview of Support Schemes (exclusively for EPIA Members).

STREAMLINED ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES

Removing administrative barriers to the deployment of PV is of critical importance in developing sustainable markets. These barriers, even in countries with good policy frameworks, delay the process of developing a PV system and increase its overall cost. They also make support schemes inefficient, as a higher share of Feed-in Tariff is required to cover administrative costs instead of purely supporting the initial investment.


PV LEGAL Project

The PV LEGAL project , financed through the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme, examined existing administrative procedures in 12 European countries. The 36-month project concluded in February 2012 with recommendations for removing unnecessary burdens in the permitting and grid-connection procedures.

The Key recommendations from the PV LEGAL project include:

  • Creating lean and appropriate permitting procedures, and a one-stop shop for all permissions

  • Defining deadlines, and giving better guidance to planning authorities

  • Involving the PV industry in bodies in charge of defining technical standards

  • Making technical standards and grid connection rules binding and exclusive

  • Streamlining grid connection procedures and setting penalties for not respecting deadlines

  • Seriously addressing grid capacity issues by evaluating costs, benefits and the potential for grid extension and improvement and developing strategic grid concepts taking into account RES potentials

Read more: www.pvlegal.eu


PV GRID Project

In May 2012, a new project was started: PV GRID, also financed under the IEE programme. It will build on the work of the PV LEGAL project, extending the research to four additional EU countries and focusing the analysis on grid-integration matters.

The expected results from the project are:

  • The continuation and improvement of the PV GRID (PV LEGAL) database, which gathers and analyses information on existing administrative processes to develop PV systems in the 16 EU countries

  • The formulation and dissemination of solutions and recommendations to facilitate a large penetration of PV in the distribution grid
Read more: www.pvgrid.eu

QUALIFICATION OF PV INSTALLERS

Assuring the qualification and certification of PV system installers is becoming increasingly important to increase customer confidence in the quality of products and installations:
  • At European level, the RES Directive foresees that EU Member States should set up by the end of 2012 a certification or equivalent qualification scheme for installers of small scale RES systems which should be mutually recognised throughout the EU

  • More and more PV customers require guarantees on the quality of the installation they are purchasing; certified installers are needed to ensure a stronger confidence in PV technology

PV TRIN Project

The PV TRIN project, which lasts until April 2013, addresses market needs by developing a training and certification scheme for technicians who are active in the installation and maintenance of small-scale PV systems.

The PVTRIN activities will result in:

  • Accredited training courses and operational certification scheme for PV installers in six countries
  • Practical training material/tools for the installers and their trainers; web portal with access to technical information
  • Implementation of eight pilot training courses, and a pool of skilled/certified PV installers in participating countries
  • A roadmap for the adoption of the certification scheme across Europe

Creating a qualified installers workforce, PVTRIN supports the EU PV Industry to address the need for skilled technicians. The increased confidence of PV investors will lead to market growth.

Read more: www.pvtrin.eu 

NEWS: PV TRIN & Install+RES Joint Conference and Workshop

“How to provide qualified installers of small-scale renewable energy systems in buildings?”
12 March 2013 -
Confédération Constructio, Brussels, Belgium

The event will give relevant stakeholders an overview of the roadmaps for the training and qualification of Europe’s building workforce until 2020. The event will provide practical tools for implementing training and qualification schemes for installers of small-scale renewable energy sources (RES) systems in buildings. These tools are represented by the Install+RES and PV TRIN projects, which aim to implement training courses for installers of small-scale RES systems in buildings in several European countries.

During the event, two panel sessions will be also organised in order to address the needs related to the training and qualification of installers of small-scale RES in buildings in the certification field and from the market´s point of view.

More information will be soon available here.


QUALICERT Project

To answer these challenges, EPIA is involved in two European projects aimed at facilitating the adoption of certification schemes in Europe:

The Qualicert project, which ended in 2011, aimed at reviewing existing certification schemes for small scale RES systems across Europe and advising on the key success criteria of future certification schemes to be set up by EU Member States. The Qualicert project in particular concluded the following for the training certification to be successful:

  • Private/public partnership:installers, manufacturers and actors of the training sector should be involved in the set-up and management of training and certification schemes

  • There should be one centrally managed scheme for all technologies

  • The role of audits of certified installers is essential to effectively increase the scheme’s credibility and guarantee the quality of installations

  • Communication tools: the importance of communication, both towards customers and installers, should not be underestimated

  • Ensuring the mutual recognition of a scheme: due to the diversity of existing schemes as well as national differences, it will be important to ensure that a certification (or equivalent qualification) scheme issued in one Member State is also recognised in a different EU country

The Qualicert manual on “A common approach for certification or equivalent qualification of installers of small-scale renewable energy systems in buildings”, is available here.

Read more: www.qualicert-project.eu 

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