Photovoltaic solar electricity is poised to become a significant and competitive supplier to the European electricity market, concludes a comprehensive study conducted by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) with the strategic management consultancy A.T. Kearney.

The SET For 2020 study ( explores different deployment scenarios: Under business-as-usual conditions, photovoltaic power should supply between 4% and 6% of Europeans’ electricity needs by 2020, but it could supply as much as 12% of EU demand by 2020 – up from less than 1% at present – if more favourable conditions are established by European policy makers, regulators and the energy sector at large.

“Photovoltaic electricity generation will already be competitive in parts of southern Europe by next year,” said Dr Winfried Hoffmann, EPIA president. “The study shows that under the 12% scenario, photovoltaic electricity will be competitive with other power sources in as much as 75% of the EU electricity market by 2020, without any form of external price support or subsidy.”

The study shows that boosting the share of photovoltaic electricity will yield huge benefits to European society and its economy.  Photovoltaic electricity is the fastest-growing renewable energy technology, and costs are expected to drop faster than those of other electricity sources.  “Europe now needs to recognise the important role photovoltaic power can play in meeting its energy sustainability goals,” said Adel El Gammal, EPIA secretary general. “The photovoltaic industry is committed to delivering energy technology that is sustainable and competitive on a large scale. We are calling on political and regulatory decision makers and on the energy sector to support photovoltaic deployment without delay.”