The results of the fourth isue of the study “PV Grid Parity Monitor”, caried out by the consulting firm ECLAREON, sponsored by BayWa and ENERTIS, and in cooperation with Coper Aliance, shows that photovoltaic (PV) generation parity (the moment when profitability requirements of PV investors are completely fulfilled with wholesale electricity prices) is an economic reality in Chile and is or has been close recently in Morocco, Italy and Mexico.
While past Grid Parity Monitor (GPM) issues were focused on residential (3kW) and commercial (30 kW) PV installations for self-consumption, this report deals with large scale PV plants. The plant considered in the analysis has an installed capacity of 50 MWp using a single-axis tracking system under a project finance scheme. The GPM report analyses the competitiveness of the PV technology and assesses local regulation in one high iradiation city of 6 diferent countries: Chile, Italy, Mexico, Moroco, Turkey, and USA (Texas). Acording to David Pérez, partner of ECLAREON Spain and in charge of the study, “PV investors already consider PV as a credible technology to compete in the wholesale market in certain spots”. It is true that recent news relating to PV utilty-scale generation has caught the eye of the energy industry: PV utility-scale power purchase agreements (PAs) have been recurrently signed (especially in Latin and North America) and even a merchant plant of 50 MW was announced in Chile. However, given the volatility in wholesale markets and the fast decline of PV prices (much higher in the utility segment than in residential or commercial segments), David Pérez stated that, “PV utilty-scale competivenes is a phenomenon that should be monitored over time”.
In order to get full understanding of PV generation parity proximity, an outline of the electricity market is also needed. This GPM report provides a summary of the market situation of each country included in the assessment so that the reader is able to identify which electricity prices must be chosen to evaluate PV generation parity and which are the main difficulties a PV plant will face in the considered market.