Solar

Despite the recent drop in oil price, we expect solar electricity to become competitive with retail electricity in an increasing number of markets globally due to declining solar panel costs as well as improving financing and customer acquisition costs. Unsubsidized rooftop solar electricity costs between $0.08-$0.13/kWh, 30-40% below retail price of electricity in many markets globally. In markets heavily dependent on coal for electricity generation, the ratio of coal based wholesale electricity to solar electricity cost was 7:1 four years ago. This ratio is now less than 2:1 and could likely approach 1:1 over the next 12-18 months.

In 2012, the European market experienced a reduction in the overall newly installed capacity which mounted to 2.4 GWth (approximately 3.4 mio m²): a decrease of 6.4% in comparison with the previous year. The total installed capacity registered a net increase of 2 GWth, now reaching 28.3 GWth (40.5 mio m²). This represents an increase of 7.7% compared with the 2011 total installed capacity.

The eco design and energy labelling regulations for space, water, combi heaters and storage tanks were published today in the Official Journal of the European Union. After many years of effort and a very constructive cooperation between the EU institutions and the solar thermal industry, the energy label will show, in a harmonised and user friendly way, the benefits and savings brought by solar to end consumers all over Europe.

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