European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment

PV-Net: a European project to talk about good conditions for self-consumption.

PV-NET logo high resWith the announced end of the photovoltaic feed-in tariffs, new economic models are to be invented. Self-consumption, through the particular model of net-metering, is among possible developments of photovoltaics for the building sector. Some European countries bordering the Mediterranean sea having reached grid parity, already experiment concrete solutions. The PV-NET project launched in March 2013 and co-financed by the ERDF through the MED cross-border cooperation program aims to test various economic solutions for the development of self-consumption and allows to discuss the conditions of the potential deployment of self-consumption in countries that have not achieved grid parity. PV-Net brings together 7 partners from 6 countries: France, with Rhônalpénergie – Environnement, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and Cyprus (3).

Thanks to this project, it has been possible to compare the LCOE (Levelized Cost Of Energy) of photovoltaic and electricity prices for each region, confirming that the former exceeds the latter in Cyprus (15 c € / kWh for the LCOE and 27 c € / kWh for electricity), in Andalusia (14 vs 22 c € / kWh), in Greece (17 vs 22 c € / kWh) and in Portugal (13 vs 20 c € / kWh). In these countries, PV-NET is studying how to optimize the support scheme for self-consumption and the required amendments on regulation, notably on the tariff for accessing the distribution network. With this project and notably through a finer measurement performed at pilot sites equipped with smart meters, a modeling tool for local producers has been developed to optimize their installation and manner of use.

In Slovenia and in France, the analysis of the conditions of the deployment consumption is not favorable (20 vs 14 c € / kWh) and the project is developing a medium-term simulation of good conditions for the development of self-consumption (consumption profiles, PV cost, types of price per kWh, etc.).

Several solutions, among them net-metering, are analyzed. Net-metering allows to charge only the gap between consumption and production. The period over which the calculation is made is an important parameter of analysis: a short time, hourly or even daily, with the option to defer kWh in surplus as regards consumption, may be relevant. On an annual time there is some risks that the grid is used as a “storage” of electrons and raises the economic issue of the associated service.

On the actual database of consumption and production of photovoltaic energy, the project is currently used to model the various economic solutions for the development of self-consumption. A tool has been developed for this purpose. Results will be published in autumn.

Noémie Poize and Patrick Biard – Rhônalpénergie-Environnement