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Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PV FINANCING (PV FINANCING)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-06-30

Feed-in tariffs (FITs) have been the fuel for successful solar PV growth stories in basically every one of today’s large solar markets. First in Europe, then in China and Japan. The US is the only exception – backed by tax credits and net metering, leasing has become a key means of financing residential solar systems there. With many European countries phasing out FITs, the simplicity of selling solar power will be gone; and without reliable and fair returns, most real estate and homeowners will not invest in PV anymore. In post-FIT times, solar companies and/or electric utilities in partnership with financial institutions will have to come up with suitable business models and financing schemes for PV investors in order to continue the success story of the FIT era.

The main goal of PV Financing was to successfully evolve those business and financing models, to disseminate them among stakeholders, to shape the necessary policy framework and to help removing barriers that prevent the models from realization. The project covered six European countries including Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Turkey and focused on the residential, the commercial, the public and the industrial sector.

At the same time, PV Financing aimed to help stakeholders from specific application segments with the implementation of PV projects based on the suitable PV business models while applying innovative equity and debt financing schemes. The availability of financing for PV projects based on the business models increased and the transaction costs creased by educating investors, commercial banks and insurance companies on the PV business models and their risks. The methodology included qualitative research, including the analysis of the business models and financing schemes, as well as interviews with relevant stakeholders of the financing and policy sector.

The added value of the project included the provision of practical solutions on how to develop the photovoltaic sector in the seven countries despite the current legal challenges identified, giving also advice on how to finance them. This is described in the European implementation guideline – in a generic way- and in the national implementation guidelines. On the other site the project aimed to assess the policy sector, giving advice on which policy needs to be changed or adapted in order to increase the deployment of PV.
The project has been successfully completed. In the first stage of the project the research conducted has focused on the suitable business models and financing schemes identified in the seven implementation countries for the development of PV. The results are reflected in fact-sheets, guidelines and in a cash flow model tool. Additionally, the previous PV Grid Database, serving as the PV Financing database, has been updated and linked to the PV Financing website. The updated database includes the results of the business models and financing schemes.

In the second reporting period the main outcomes of the project were developed. These include the implementation guideline at national and European level. The national implementation guidelines describe step by step how to implement the potential identified business models to develop PV in the national countries, and include a description of the regulatory framework and suitable financing schemes, as well as profitability calculations and good practice examples. The European Implementation Guideline takes a general approach on guiding investors and stakeholders into developing PV projects based on the suitable business and best practice examples of how implement projects in Europe. Furthermore, contract templates were developed with the aim to give a legal framework for the development and implementation of the business models in Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

At the policy level the consortium developed the national and European advisory papers that describe the identified regulatory barriers and the policy recommendations for the implementation of PV projects at national level in in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK, as well as at the European level.

All the results have been disseminated through the project website, twitter, conferences, workshops, mailings and newsletters at national and European level. In total 93 articles and news were published during the project duration. Additionally, 24 webinars and 62 presentations at national and European level were also organized. The last one was also targeted to the financing and policy community at the national and at the European level. In the financing workshops the business models as well as the barriers identified and their possible solutions were introduced to private investors and decision makers in banks and insurance companies, allowing them to include these results in their decision process with regards to new investments. On the other site, the workshops focused on the policy sector assessed politicians on the necessary political framework for the application of the business models.
- Replicability: the outcomes of the project can be used in various EU- and Non-EU countries, since some generic documents will be developed. This is the case of the implementation guidelines and the advisory papers. Additionally, the experience of the seven national implementation counties, which have a very different financing and policy environment, can support other markets not included in the project to adapt the results according to their needs.

- Socio-economics: the results of the analysis of the financing schemes and business models will enable the user (in the different application segments of the project) to develop PV projects. This will be achieved through the description of the advantages (specially the economic ones) that they have with the implementation of the business models for the development of PV. Additionally, the current legal and financing conditions that hinder the development of PV as well as the possible solutions and barriers that have to be overcome will be explained.

- Environment: the development of PV will contribute to the European and national climate and energy transition goals.

- Market Transformation: the identification of the economic and policy barriers and their possible solutions will help to evolve the PV market in the seven implementation countries.

- Policy: the project aims to identify and to analyse the current policy barriers that hinders the development of PV in the countries. With these results, the consortium assessed the policy sector, giving the advice on which policy needs to be changed or adapted in order to increase the development of PV.
Financing Schemes - PV Financing
Project Structure PV Financing
Best Practice Fact-sheet PV Financing
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Business Model - PV Financing