Innovation in business models and financing key as solar PV sector moves into next phase

1/11/17, 11:10 AM -

SolarPower Europe, the EU-level solar trade body, has today published a new report on the latest innovation in solar PV business models and financing schemes that they hope will see the industry into the next phase of the technology's development. 

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The report, which looks at all application segments from rented single family homes to social housing, from multi-occupancy commercial buildings to ground mount solar farms, has identified the four core business models for solar as being self-consumption, power purchase agreements, cooperatives and virtual power plants.

Reducing the cost of finance

Solar is a technology with high up-front capital costs and low operating costs - and revenues spread out over 20 years or more. Capital costs make up about 30% of solar Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE), and therefore reducing the cost of finance is going to be key to cost-effective deployment in years to come. New and innovative financing mechanisms and business models can help mitigate risks and overcome up-front costs.

Spur the deployment with good-practice examples

Sonia Dunlop Policy Adviser at SolarPower Europe, commented: "With this report we have identified what we are think are the best examples of solar business models and financing from around Europe and hope to spread the word to spur deployment across the continent."

Mitigating risks and increasing the value of solar electrictiy

"Ultimately it is about increasing the value of the solar electricity and mitigating risks, whether that be on the roof of a business or a ground-mount utility scale plant."The research project has also produced business model guidelines for seven key European markets including Turkey as well as template legal contracts, drafted by leading lawyers in each country, which are free to download on

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