Photovoltaics – The Neglected Child of the Renewables

Teo Zalar

Abstract


Upon decades of pompous talks about sustainable development EU finally decided to put it into practice by fostering renewable energy sources (RES). After roughly half decade of rocketing development of photovoltaics (PV) technology and photovoltaic power plants (PVP) the majority of EU states cut down subsidies drastically and blocked completely (or almost) the further development of PVP, thus jeopardizing the sustainable development – environmental as well as economic achievements. While doing so there was a sharp lack of argumentated debate. The presented study thus aims to set a clear and argumented basis on which we should found our decisions about PV. The study shows that PV can help us to achieve sustainable development by helping to resolve some of the most crucial problems of humanity. Furthermore it has some crucial advantages over other RES and non-RES (thus having the potential to gain an important role in future energy portfolio) and it has also the potential to become price-competitive (grid parity). Unfortunately the young PV technology with its still high costs can still not compete with the unreal low prices of conventional energy sources as they do not incorporate costs of negative externalities. Because of this market failure market alone cannot make good use of all the PV potentials. This is why at this point the state (and other institutions) intervenes – solving limitations caused by market failure, with the aim to help PV technology coming to maturity, when it will be able to face the “unfair” competition of conventional energy sources on its own and continue its march to conquer its position in the energy portfolio. In conclusion – the findings above should be taken as the primary basis when setting our reviewing PV incentives policy and therefore before changing this policy we absolutely must bring related arguments to make founded decisions in accordance with a sustainable development paradigm – longsighted (over the border of our generation) and broad viewed (environment-economy-society).

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p2482


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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