The upcoming challenges for the Spanish PV industry and the Latin American opportunity in the Conferencia de la Industria Solar
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 06:32
The inaugural session, conducted by Luis Torres (vice-president of UNEF), included the participation of David Pérez from ECLAREON, Andrés Navarro from the Cámara de Comercio Brasil-España, Marie Latour from EPIA and Angie Soto from Nexus Energía.
In his presentation, Luis Torres remarked “this conference brings the opportunity to share impressions about the PV industry in a key transition moment, in which the Feed-in tariff scheme is ending” and stated that PV experts should help to lighten the upcoming PV framework.
In the lecture “Current situation and regulation of the Solar sector in Spain and world-wide", David Pérez, from ECLAREON, outlined that “PV grid parity has already been reached in Spain and it represents a great opportunity for the PV industry; generating PV electricity is cheaper than buying it”. He also stated that “small-scaled installations will play a very important role in the future of the Spanish market”. Besides, he commented that the PV industry should learn from other markets where “utilities are taking advantage of distributed generation with new business opportunities”.
Brazil appears as one of the most outstanding markets in the international PV industry. According to Andrés Navarro, this is an interesting moment because “the National Energy Plan in Brazil is an opportunity”. However, Navarro noted, “It is important to consider that Brazil is a country of contrasts, high inflation, high interest and a very complex fiscal system.”
Marie Latour outlined that in some European countries, e.g. Germany, “PV energy amounts to 5% of the total electric demand” and it is expected that “PV energy will reach an 8% of total European demand in 2020 and a 15% in 2030, according to an aggressive scenario”. She stated that grid operators “will face new challenges in integration” and defined distributed generation as “the best way of developing PV energy, directly in the consumption site”.
Moreover, Latour also presented EPIA’s report “Connecting the Sun: Solar Photovoltaics on the road to large-scale grid integration” for the first time in Spain. The study demonstrates how the European power supply system can be adapted to the rapidly increasing supply of solar energy.
The inaugural session was completed with Angie Soto’s participation, which focused on selling PV electricity without FiTs. Soto said, “Technically, producing PV electricity is cheap but economically, it is difficult to achieve profitable installations”. She also demanded a stable regulatory framework.
After the inaugural session, the conference was split in 2 parallel sessions: auto consumption and net metering in Spain and Latin American markets. In his lecture “First experiences with auto-consumption in Spain”, Óscar Pérez, from PROINSO, presented their residential PV kit. He detailed 3 auto consumption projects already installed in Spain, their administrative processes and the main difficulties found in their development. Óscar Pérez remarked the fact that “in Spain, margins have been adjusted along all the value chain”. After his presentation, a very interesting debate about auto consumption took place in the Spanish room.
Within the New developments for solar energy branch, José Ignacio Briano from ECLAREON explained the relationship between smart grids and PV energy. Briano pointed out, "The development of smart grids can represent a great opportunity for renewable energies: it will allow a better integration, especially in distributed generation, and can improve the possibilities for the PV companies.”
Latin American markets
Latin American markets were discussed from different perspectives: technical, commercial, fiscal and financial. Víctor Cervantes, from ECLAREON, analyzed residential grid parity in Latin America, and he remarked that “in some regions of Chile and some market niches such as Mexican DAC consumers, there is already grid parity for PV energy, which represents a unique opportunity for the auto-consumption market; this opportunity should be supported with an appropriate regulatory framework”.
During his lecture “Internationalization in Latin American countries”, Enrique Muguiro from Yingli said, "Interesting opportunities are arising in many Latin American countries, not only in the obvious ones (Mexico, Brazil, and Chile) but also in other smaller markets such as Peru, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic.”
On the other hand, Valentina Cinagli (CSUN) indicated that Brazilian conventional electricity will present higher prices than PV as of 2014. Besides, Angel Castro, from SMA, reviewed Chilean opportunities where “market will start in 2 or 3 years”.
Luis Ampudia, from PROMEXICO, offered a wide description of the current Mexican framework and the attractiveness of entering the energy market, dominated by the national company CFE. In Mexico, a net metering scheme, a pro-renewable regulation and different financial mechanisms for PV exist and will help a new solar market.
During its six consecutive editions, the Conferencia de la Industria Solar in Spain has guaranteed a proper environment for discussion, generation of new ideas, knowledge exchange and business networking in the Spanish solar sector. The conference is organized by the German company SOLARPRAXIS with the support of ECLAREON, an international business consultancy specialized in renewable energies.
Global Solar Technology
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