PV – are there limits to the amount the grid can accommodate?

Published: Wed 25 Sep 2013
A blog entry by Michael Papapetrou

Contributed by:

Michael Papapetrou
Senior Project Manager
WIP-Renewable Energies

Michael Papapetrou's Blog

The fast growth of PV continues to outpace forecasts. Under EPIA’s paradigm shift scenario, by 2030 PV could provide as much as a quarter of Europe’s electricity needs. However, by becoming a major player in Europe’s electricity mix, PV is already facing new challenges and has to deal with increased responsibilities. First there is the question of how much variable renewable energy can be integrated to the grid without affecting the system’s stability and reliability while minimizing the PV electricity curtailment. In addition, there is an on-going debate about the responsibilities and the costs for adapting the way distribution grids are designed and managed in order to integrate the current rise of decentralised generation, such as PV, which is often owned by active consumers (prosumers).


The PV industry is actively engaging to that debate. EPIA in 2012 produced the report “Connecting the Sun” where they have shown that large-scale PV integration is feasible with a high level of security of supply, even under the most extreme weather and load conditions, by exploiting all available technical solutions such as stronger interconnections, storage and demand side management. Regarding the distribution grids, successful integration of large PV shares have been demonstrated, while the increasing competitiveness of PV are creating a window of opportunity for further grid support capabilities, enabling for instance the use of local storage. The market and regulatory framework has to catch-up with the technological developments and to facilitate further development and implementation of the successful R&D activities.


The 28th EU PVSEC is continuing the tradition of providing a forum for fruitful discussion exploring the limits to the grid integration capacities for PV, from a technical, policy and economic point of view. Researches, industry representatives and decisions makers from the political and financial sectors will take part in the discussion. The relevant 28th EU PVSEC coverage includes 3 keynote presentations, 3 parallel events and more than 40 oral presentations covering issues like technical aspects of PV Grid Integration, Electricity Storage, Self-Consumption & Net-Metering, Meteorological Forecasting, market and policy issues.