Photovoltaic (PV) power generation plays an important role in future sustainable energy mixes due to its high reliability, yield predictability and capacity for electricity production during peak demand when the electricity price is usually high. But still today, the economic viability of this technology depends on the subsidies usually granted by public authorities and electricity consumers. In the past, some subsidy schemes were inadequately generous, resulting in unsustainable PV growth rates that resulted in high public allowances. This study investigates the actual cost situation of the PV power generation for European countries, giving a perspective of the profitability until 2020 and identifies scenarios for which the technology can be financially self-sufficient without any subsidies. The study showed that the first grid parity was achieved in the Southern European countries. In Northern Europe, the PV cost-effectiveness depends highly on the national electricity price level and solar resources.