In February, the Solar Bankability consortium held its final public workshop in Brussels. The consortium was coordinated by EURAC, partnered with SolarPower Europe, 3E, Accelios Solar and TUV Rheinland.
As the costs of PV systems have dropped with more than 70% since 2008 and the cost of generation will keep declining, supported by economies of scale and ongoing innovation, the technical reliability and financial stability of PV investments have to be translated into acknowledged standards throughout the whole PV industry.
In that perspective, the project established guidelines for professional risk assessment, thus reducing technical risks associated with investments in photovoltaic projects and increasing trust from investors, financers and insurance companies.
The final workshop was organized around 4 main sessions:
The first session focused on presenting the main results from the project, introducing the different business models and guidelines which structurally lower risks and increase return for PV investments. The second session shifted the focal point and handed the microphone over to the different players in the industry, exploring best practices for EPC and O&M actors, increased return for asset managers and the inherent technical considerations to be taken into account by financial institutions. After the break, the third session tackled many different non-technical topics, from financial due diligence (warranties, insurances, re-powering, etc.) to optimization and performance issues in secondary markets and in promising segments of the market. The workshop ended with a policy oriented session, looking at how to ensure the implementation of these practices into one comprehensive quality infrastructure. Based on EU or other global initiatives, all these results need to be standardized and incorporated in the PV industry’s daily business.
Speaking at the event, David Moser (EURAC), project coordinator of Solar Bankability, said: “The project proved that the solar PV industry is mature and there are numerous good practices which can mitigate technical risks and increase financers’ trust.” Mr Moser underlined that “In order to further enhance solar PV projects’ bankability, standardisation of best practice risk mitigation measures are crucial.“
Francisco Boshell from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) confirmed the findings of the Solar Bankability project. “The benefits of quality infrastructure services outweigh their costs“, he said in his presentation, drawing on IRENA research findings.
“Solar PV is a low-risk sector to invest in“, concluded SolarPower Europe’s CEO James Watson, summarising the expert debate on the risks of solar PV investments. The most significant risk factors identified in the debate were related to the regulatory environment and quality infrastructure.
You can jump to any of these topics as you wish by going through the presentations HERE.