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Breaking down the barriers to solar photovoltaic development: Much has been achieved but more work needs to be done concludes PV LEGAL project


In a Final report published in February, the PV LEGAL project finds that despite some progresses, many EU Member States still must remove obstacles to the deployment of solar PV.

The results are decidedly mixed. In some countries, improvements have been observed. For example, developing a residential system is much quicker in France, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Online registration systems, less stringent permitting requirements, and one-stop shop systems have helped reduce the time required to process requests.

But elsewhere in Europe the picture is not as bright. In Spain, overly burdensome bureaucracy is the reason for needing an incredible 89 weeks to develop a commercial rooftop system. Complying with these regulations and grid connection processes represents almost half the development cost of a project. The same is true in Bulgaria and in the United Kingdom.

Since PV will play an important role in the EU renewable energy share in 2020, it is important to make sure that the development of this technology is not hindered by administrative barriers. Lowering administrative costs will improve the cost-effectiveness of investments in photovoltaic systems, thus stimulate higher investment volumes and give leverage to the national authorities to reduce financial support.

Grid connection difficulties remain the greatest bottleneck to deploy easily photovoltaic systems. Lengthy procedures, unclear interpretation of rules or excessive costs are some of the main barriers encountered in most of the markets studied in the project.

Download the final PVLEGAL report including comprehensive analysis, recommendations and country factsheets here.

The presentations and videos of the final PV LEGAL event where the report was presented can be viewed here.