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Spectacular solar success in Europe

A new report out of Europe has confirmed that solar PV is by far the cheapest form of bulk energy in many parts of the world, even with the addition of two hours’ storage.

The report from Christian Breyer at Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology puts the levellised cost of electricity from solar at €24/MWh in Malaga (Spain) and €42/MWh in Helsinki (Finland).

And it shows how the LCOE of solar PV beats the average spot price across Europe – by a considerable margin in sunny countries like Italy and Spain, but also in Germany.

The most stunning results, however, come from Breyer’s estimates that solar PV plus two hours storage ranges from €39/MWh in Malaga to €69/MWh in Helsinki with 1 kWh/kWp storage and from €54-95/MWh with two hours storage.

That means that solar with two hours storage is competitive, now, with the average spot market electricity price in Rome and Malaga. And solar with one hour storage will become competitive in 2020 in London and Toulouse, and by 2025 in Helsinki and Munich.

Now all that’s needed is for policy makers and industry to keep up.

“This is of utmost importance since the debate on how to react to the ongoing climate crisis and the necessary transformation of the energy system towards 100% renewable sources demand urgent measures and political decisions based on realistic information on the potential of different technologies,” Breyer writes.

“The societal tipping point for tackling the climate crisis may have been passed right now due to the global Fridays for Future movement of the youth all around the world with support by scientists, so that it can be hoped that fast and massive measures will be encouraged in the short term to midterm. This should be done on a best possible data basis.”