Photovoltaic Balance of Systems In Focus as Feed-in-Tariff Uncertainty Spreads in Europe

The European PV market is in a unique and continuing state of flux, with 2010 global installations amounting to 15.7 GW.

German installations have set the record again with 3.9 GW in the first half of 2010 with a peak in June of 2.1 GW, and in total, Germany has reached 6.7 GW in 2010. Italy installed 2.85 GW in 2010 reaching a total of 7GW and the Czech Republic gained huge momentum with 1.3GW. Until now, the PV market benefited from favourable feed-in tariffs, plunging module prices and rising efficiencies throughout the last few years and months- in Italy alone, module prices dropped by 42.2% between the fourth quarter of 2008 and third quarter of 2010.

Despite this, drastic cuts across European FiTs have hit the industry hard, and the pressure shows no sign of easing. In fact, analysts have suggested a domino effect' With France's subsidies slashed, the Czech Republic market severely limited and an additional decrease of the German FiT by 13% from January 2011, the industry is expecting a stagnating market in 2011, resulting in increased price competition with low cost Asian manufacturers.

It's against this backdrop of tough competition and plummeting module prices that PV companies are increasingly turning to Balance of Systems as a way of reducing costs and maximizing efficiency in PV systems, and PV-Insider have launched the PV Balance of Systems Conference & Expo (Berlin, June 28-28) to help the industry tackle the technical BoS challenges that in the current climate can make the difference between profit and loss for your plant. Key topics include:

Case studies on how European plants have achieved optimal performance
System design considerations that reduce labour, wiring materials and overall costs
Component manufactures speak on product reliability, component combinations and O&M support for your plant
How intelligent systems can give you essential performance data and forecast power output failures

Attendees at the Balance of Systems event that took place last November in San Jose (run by the same organisers) commented that this event was extremely valuable in gaining an overall view of engineering and financial challenges applicable to optimising PV BoS', and others that the conference was a great format to start talking details about how we can truly reduce the overall cost of PV... a win-win opportunity!'. The European event promises to be even more critical for PV installers and EPCs faced with substantial challenges in light of the FiT changes.

Bringing together key industry stakeholders including EPCs, installers, developers, manufacturers, financers and utilities to meet, learn and do business, this meeting will zone into every element of successful Balance of System engineering. Full information is available now at

For more information please see the website at or contact Heidi Hafes on or on +44 (0) 207 375 7206

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