SolarPower Europe newsletter

A Christmas message to SolarPower Europe members from Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission and in charge of the Energy Union

Thank You Note from our Outgoing CEO

By: James Watson, CEO

Over the last four and a half years it has been a pleasure to serve you, the members, and deliver lots of successful initiatives led by you. Our emphasis on delivering services in a member led approach to our work has been the secret to the growth and success of the association. I sincerely thank you all for your support for SolarPower Europe and for helping us to deliver on our promise to lead the energy transition. In particular, I have enjoyed working with the Board and the SolarPower Europe team as together we have revitalized the work of the association to make it relevant and interesting for the solar sector at large.
 
We have built strong relationships with important policymakers, as the Christmas message from Vice-President Šefčovič in this newsletter, lays testament. This has been an important cornerstone for the increasing influence of the association on policy, as witnessed by our success in the Clean Energy Package, through to delivering a Clean Energy Industrial Forum and contributing to the end of trade measures on solar panels and cells. These were achievements few people thought we could deliver back in 2014, which seem relatively commonplace today. They are not and are testament to your commitment and the hard work of the team to deliver for you.
 
The innovation in terms of the breadth of our taskforces, market intelligence and events in 2018 also demonstrates the strength of the association. It seems a long time ago that a few hardy souls sat in the offices of 3E in Brussels to launch the O&M Taskforce, our first taskforce, in January 2015. And now we have just launched version 3.0 of the O&M guidelines, delivered by the taskforce, in London in front of more than 150 participants. The relevance and value of this work and all our taskforces and events is clear for all to see.
 
And so, four and a half years have come and gone very quickly, I am pleased that I leave the association in good stead, with a strong team and an active and influential Board. I am also pleased that Walburga Hemetsberger will take over my role, unanimously approved by the Board, and steer the association forward in the coming years, working alongside Dr Christian Westermeier, our President, bringing new ideas and direction to the association.
 
While I will change to work in a different sector with Eurogas, I am sure that I will continue to exchange with many of you in the future and our paths will cross again. As they say in my native Wales, diolch yn fawr iawn, hwyl fawr!
 
 

Highlight: RE-Source 2018

Major corporates ready to do more on climate action and call for easier access to renewable energy

This year saw the most successful RE-Source event yet, held over two days in Amsterdam. With over 800 participants from 40 countries, RE-Source 2018 was the largest corporate sourcing event in the world. The full event was streamed over Facebook Live to 40,000 viewers and was documented on social media using the hashtags #RESource2018 and #100to100k.

The event saw hundreds of corporate clean energy buyers and sellers take part in 250 prescheduled B2B meetings. Additionally, a range of key speakers took to the stage and moderated insightful sessions and panel discussions. Participants included high-level speakers such as Zhecho Stankov, Deputy Minister of Energy from Bulgaria, Andrzej Kaźmierski, Renewables Department Director, Ministry of Energy of Poland, Pia Heidenmark Cook, Chief Sustainability Officer of IKEA Group, and Paula Abreu Marques, Head of Unit, European Commission, as well as speakers from strategic partners Enel, Engie, Google, Iberdrola, Microsoft, and RES Group.

Throughout the two-day event, the RE-Source Declaration was signed, calling for the removal of regulatory and administrative barriers to renewable energy procurement in support of Europe’s climate and energy goals. Over 100 major corporates and organisations supported the declaration and the aim of the RE-Source platform to increase the number of corporates buying renewable power from 100 to 100,000.

RE-Source is organised by the RE-Source Platform – a European alliance of stakeholders representing clean energy investors, buyers and suppliers for corporate renewable energy sourcing. It is coordinated by SolarPower Europe, WindEurope, The Climate Group and CDP (RE100) and WBCSD. The platform pools resources and coordinates activities to promote a better framework for corporate renewable energy sourcing at EU and national level. The potential for corporate sourcing of renewable energy in Europe is significant and largely untapped. This is the first and only multi-stakeholder platform in Europe bringing together the interests of both buyers and sellers, to unlock the potential of a new and promising financing stream for renewable energies. The RE-Source 2018 event took place from 20-21 November 2018 in Amsterdam.

Generation Solar: MEP Bendt Bendtsen: EU must create long-term certainty for solar owners like me

By: Kristina Thoring, Communications Director

As part of the Generation Solar campaign, SolarPower Europe travelled to Denmark to visit MEP Bendt Bendtsen (EPP) in his solar powered, energy efficient house.

Bendtsen has been a high-profile politician for many years, as the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic and Business Affairs in Denmark and MEP and lead rapporteur on the recently adopted Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Bendtsen’s view is that it is important that politicians take action to show their personal commitment to the energy transition. That is why Bendtsen installed a 6kWh solar PV system on his house in 2012 that he continues to enjoy high yields from. In the video, Bendtsen explains why it is important that the EU creates long-term certainty for solar PV owners like him and how even in the North of Europe, there is a great potential for solar power.

 

 

European solar PV outlook post-MIP

By: Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence

While we have already been upbeat in our Global Market Outlook on 2018 European solar market development, our latest research has led us to believe that European solar demand will be even stronger this year, in particular in the European Union. The stronger growth of the European solar market is in part due to the expiry of the Minimum Import Price (MIP) and trade duties on modules and cells from Asia, which has lowered solar prices and triggered demand in the EU.

SolarPower Europe’s Q3 market update indicates that Europe will add 12.6 GW in 2018, up 37% from 9.2 GW in 2017. Demand in EU-28, is expected to grow even faster and reach 9.5 GW in 2018, a 61% increase from the 5.9 GW installed in 2017. In our Global Market Outlook published in June, we predicted that 2018 installations in Europe would grow year-on-year by 34% and in EU-28 by 45%. Indeed, our GMO medium market scenario 2018 forecasts already included both the MIP expiry and the Chinese solar program restructuring, but the resulting price drops have been even heftier than anticipated.

One reason for the different growth speed in the EU and Europe this year is the termination of the EU trade duties in September, which will propel demand in EU-28 in Q4. But solar in Europe as a whole also has to digest an even bigger challenge: Demand in Turkey. Last year, the largest solar PV market in Europe with 2.59 GW collapsed due to the financial crisis in the country. While we have revised our forecast for Turkey downwards to 1.55 GW, the general price decrease for solar products are triggering higher demand for solar in other non-EU European countries. And this effect, combined with the high solar demand in EU-28 over-compensates the current weakness of the Turkish PV market. For 2018, we anticipate Germany to be the leading market with around 3 GW, followed by Turkey:

SolarPower Europe Members can access the slides and the recording of our European Market Update Q3/2018 here.

Related articles: Strong solar growth in Europe as demand grows over 60% in 2018

Small is Beautiful in the Parliament and Market Design Update

By: Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor

Photo: Small is Beautiful high-level workshop: Rémi Collombet-Gourdon, Policy Officer at Ocean Energy Europe; Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe; Donagh Cagney, Policy Director at Ocean Energy Europe; Maria Jimenez Navarro, Energy Attaché of Spain

Unlocking Europe’s green growth through the right Electricity Market Design

From summer time to winter time, final discussion on the Clean Energy Package’s Market Design dossier are advancing towards its final chapter. However, crucial provisions for the Solar sector remain on the agenda and will require lengthy discussions before an agreement is reached. The future regulatory framework for small-scale renewable installations will figure amongst these burning priorities. The Small is Beautiful campaign which gathers more than 18 European associations is very active to ensure that the Market Design trialogues promotes a step-wise integration for small-scale producers. To this end, the campaign organized a closed-door workshop on the 16th of October, to foster the debate amongst key policy makers.

Hosted by two key MEP shadow rapporteurs in the Market Design trialogues, Florent Marcellesi, from the Green Party and Martina Werner from the Socialists & Democrats, the workshop gathered European project developers and entrepreneurs active in the small-scale renewable and high-efficiency cogeneration installations sector. The French company Akuo Energy presented “agri-energy” projects which exploit the solar generation potential of agricultural installations while fostering the productivity of agricultural crops. The association Sun for Schools, represented by its founder Alexandre Pirson, explained how small-scale solar can support European schools to save energy and redirect investments in extra-curricular activities, while providing pedagogical support to raise the children’s awareness of energy transition.

The presentations were followed by a debate on the place of small-scale in the Market Design, in the presence of Benedikt Ennser, Chair of the Market Design trialogues for the Austrian presidency, and Jan Papsch, Team Lead in the Wholesale Markets Unit in DG ENER. Participants converged on the need to acknowledge the specificity of small-scale renewable installations and ensure a step-wise market integration to protect such installations from disproportionate financial and administrative requirements, as well as unfair market practices.

This “step-wise” approach is crucial to unlock the potential of small-scale solar installations across Europe’s 27 markets, supporting the competitiveness of European schools, farmers and SME’s while creating local and high-skilled jobs. These principles were reflected in the Presidency compromise’s compromise proposal and must be supported by Member States. These provisions will be on the trialogue’s agenda for the December 5th trialogue meeting.

To foster the development of both large and small-scale solar installations in Europe’s electricity system, the development of a competitive market for energy storage will also be paramount. European policy makers should ensure a clear definition for the ownership of storage by system operators (articles 36 and 54 of the Directive) to avoid creating disincentives for self-consumers to use storage facilities, including for grid services, (article 15 of the Directive). The Market Design should also ensure that grid operators can invest into smart grids and flexibility (article 16 of the Regulation and article 59 of the Directive) in order to avoid a lock-in of convention or inflexible generation in Europe’s electricity system, notably through the implementation of capacity mechanisms (articles 18 to 24 of the Regulation).

Despite strong political pressure and with only one political trialogue left before the Energy Council on the 19th of December, the Austrian Presidency is now racing against the clock to close the Market Design dossier before Christmas. With such important provisions still under discussion, the next month will therefore be decisive for the solar sector!

Related articles:

Small-scale renewables will democratise the energy transition

SolarPower Europe Solar Mobility webinar

By: Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor

As the development of e-mobility is growing in Europe, the issue of integrating large shares of electric vehicles in the grid is a growing challenge. However, solar is a cheap and clean fuel that could smartly fuel electric mobility with system benefits, while opening important business opportunities for energy and automotive industries. This is what was explored during SolarPower Europe’s first online Solar Mobility webinar which took place on the 26th of November.

How can solar power electric mobility in a competitive manner? What are the potentials of powering electric mobility with centralised or decentralised renewable electricity? Can on-site generation directly fuel electric vehicles? These questions guided the first solar mobility webinar on November 26th.

During the webinar, speakers presented their projects combining Solar and Mobility. Martijn de Man, from PitPoint, presented the company’s public charging stations powered with renewable electricity. Jens Mertens, from the CEA-INES, presented a project where a fleet of 10 vehicles was powered by on-site generation in an office building for 2 years, and which enabled the development of a 100% solar charging solution by the Corsican company DrivEco. Finally, Robin Berg, from LomboXnet, demonstrated how a car-sharing scheme can be powered with local solar panels generation and national renewable electricity thanks to smart charging.

The webinar showed the important potential of solar to power electric mobility. With its generation curve matching the load curve of an electric vehicle charging during the day, solar is the natural cheap fuel for electric transport. On the other hand, an electric vehicle, by using or storing excess self-generated solar energy, could optimise self-consumption rates and reduce the impacts on the grid.

The participants were then able to exchange on the potential of the different models and on their potential for the different mobility needs. In particular, enabling technologies such as smart energy management systems, smart charging solutions or competitive storage solutions will be crucial to support the development of transport solution powered by on-site generation. It was also pointed out that an enabling regulation will be key: they should support smart charging practices, facilitate the grid connection and use of storage facilities and encourage on-site generation coupled with electric mobility in buildings, as office buildings or park and ride facilities.

SolarPower Europe will further work on the potential of Solar Mobility for both the electricity system and innovative business opportunities within its Solar Mobility workstream. On December 17th, a new webinar will explore the potential of smart charging for the integration of electric vehicles and photovoltaic generation. Registration to the Task Force is still open, by contacting n.chevillard@solarpowereurope.org.

Related articles: Huge opportunities for more solar-powered electric mobility in Europe

Meet SolarPower Europe at COP24!

By: Mariano Guillén, Policy Advisor

Photo: COP24

Katowice, Poland will host the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Mr. Michał Kurtyka, Polish Secretary of State in the Ministry of Environment and President-designate of COP 24 is the figure carrying the responsibility of delivering a specific outcome from the Talanoa Dialogue to set a course towards the full implementation of the Paris Agreement.

At the same time, it is an opportunity for a politically convulsed country to show a different face to the world. Three key messages will dominate the presidency’s vision: carbon neutrality thanks to sound forest, land and water management, climate-friendly technological solutions, such as electromobility, and a solidary and just transition of industrial regions. Not only Poland will be under scrutiny. Europe will have to play a crucial role in this round of negotiations, filling the leadership gap left by the USA and exporting climate diplomacy beyond the EU’s borders to avoid others, like Brazil, pulling out of the climate deal.

Aware of the significance of the occasion, SolarPower Europe will actively participate in the Conference to show its commitment with the Paris Agreement goals and to emphasize the prominent role that renewables, and especially solar energy, will have to play if we are to achieve a full decarbonization of our economies. The importance of solar energy lies in its potential to lead the energy transformation. It can reshape the power sector and offer unmatched solutions to decarbonize other sectors such as transport, industry, building or agriculture. This “coupling” ability is only one of the many reasons to rely on solar for this important assignment.

Meet our team at COP24 to help us spread the message: solar allows consumers to actively participate in the energy transformation, can ignite the revamped European Clean Energy Industrial Strategy, and will create millions of jobs in Europe and worldwide.

For more information about SolarPower Europe’s activities at COP24, contact a.beauvais@solarpowereurope.org.

Related article:

Solar is a key climate solution

SolarPower Europe talks solar mobility in Stockholm

By: Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor

As the development of e-mobility is growing in Europe, the issue of integrating large shares of electric vehicles in the grid is a growing challenge. However, solar is a cheap and clean fuel that could smartly fuel electric mobility with system benefits, while opening important business opportunities for energy and automotive industries. SolarPower Europe was invited to Stockholm to give the solar industry’s vision on the synergies between e-mobility and photovoltaic energy development. 

Organiser since 2011 of the Solar Integration Workshop, Energynautics opened its E-Mobility integration workshop for the second year in a row on the 15th of October. Held in Stockholm, the capital of a leading country in electric mobility development, the workshop gathered members of power systems and grid operators, universities and research institutes. Together, they tried to find solutions to the key questions raised by electric mobility development: how should Europe prepare and transform its electricity grid to integrate the fast-growing additional electricity demand of electric mobility, adding at peak times, and distribute it in the electricity system?

Solar will be one part of the answer; this was the message carried by Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor and person responsible for the Solar Mobility Task Force in SolarPower Europe, who spoke at the opening of the event. With its generation curve matching the load curve of an electric vehicle charging during the day, solar is the natural cheap fuel for electric transport. On the other hand, an electric vehicle, by using or storing excess self-generated solar energy, could optimise self-consumption rates and reduce the impacts on the grid. Most importantly, beyond its support to the integration of e-mobility, solar will be necessary to ensure that the electrification of transport is fuelled by green energy, and actually supports the decarbonisation of the European economy.

The potential of Solar Mobility both for the electricity system and business opportunities will be the central questions to the Solar Mobility Task Force created by SolarPower Europe in 2018. Following a launch event in September, the Task Force will explore the different facets of Solar Mobility. Through an online workshop with innovative companies in the sector, participants in the Task Force will be able to identify the business cases of Solar and Mobility, as well as the challenges along the way. Registration to the Task Force is still open to n.chevillard@solarpowereurope.org.

Related article:

Huge opportunities for more solar-powered electric mobility in Europe

O&M report version 3.0

By: Mariano Guillén, Policy Advisor

The “wild west” days of solar PV are long gone. Standardisation is key.

Over the past decade our industry has rapidly moved from the margins to the mainstream of energy systems across Europe and globally, and the importance of clear and universally understood standards for O&M and asset management has consequently emerged as a key priority. This is why the O&M and Asset Management 2018 event will bring together experts from EA Technology, Fraunhofer CSP and TÜV Rheinland, for a session highlighting the work of PV industry leaders in proactively developing and implementing new standards in areas including data management and worker health and safety.

Raising standards starts with best practices.

During O&M and Asset Management 2018 we will also be launching the new version of our O&M Best Practices Guidelines at the event, including new chapters about O&M and Distributed solar, Industry Trends and Repowering and Revamping. The now extremely popular industry publication will be introduced by Paolo Chiantore, Managing Director at BayWa r.e, followed by a discussion with experts from Bird & Bird, Sonnedix, Armstrong Energy.

Does your company operate by high standards? Get Recognised for your Excellence!

SolarPower Europe launched the Solar O&M Best Practice Mark, a self-certification-based label aimed at creating more transparency in the O&M market and allowing leading companies to demonstrate their excellence.

Related article:

SolarPower Europe Launches New Innovative Business Models for Operations & Maintenance

SolarPower Europe speaks at Portugal Renewable Summit 2018

By: Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director

Photo: Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director, SolarPower Europe at Portugal Renewable Summit 2018

In October, the Portugal association for renewable energies (APREN) celebrated its 30 years of existence, the opportunity to shed light on the incredible evolution of the Portuguese renewable sector over the past decade and take stock of the big challenges ahead.

30 years after the creation of APREN, Portugal has clearly emerged as a European leader in the production of renewable energy. In 2017, renewable energy sources accounted for 42% of the total electricity produced in Portugal, supplying 44% of all electricity needs. In March 2018, Portugal even entered the very private club of European countries able to supply 100% of their energy needs with renewables!

Yet, Portugal does not rest on its laurels and has pledged to bring its energy transition to the next level. Portuguese prime Minister António Costa wants the country to be carbon neutral by 2050, a real challenge considering that natural gas, coal, fossil cogeneration and other fossil-based sources are still responsible for 58% of the energy produced. As underlined by the Minister of Economy Manuel Caldeira Cabral, “Portugal will have to significantly step-up its investments in renewable energy to reach its CO2 mitigation targets”.

Looking at the forecasts, this carbon neutral strategy could mark the beginning of a golden age for the Portuguese Solar sector. According to APREN’s market and trends analysis, the Portuguese renewable sector must support a very strong uptake of Solar energy to achieve the national CO2 mitigation targets by 2050. Forecasts estimate Solar could grow from a negligible share of 1% (573 MW) in 2018, up to more than 20% of the Portuguese renewable electricity shares!

2050!

To achieve this spectacular growth, crucial measures will need to be implemented, starting with a sound financing framework. An opinion shared by APREN’s President Antonio Sa da Costa recalled the colossal investments to be commissioned, especially for future Solar and bio-energy projects. “Portugal needs to invest around €20 billion if it’s going to reach its target of producing all the energy it needs through renewable sources by 2040” said Da Costa.

Another key measure relies in fostering the necessary development of interconnection capacities, to overcome the isolation of the Iberian market and support Portuguese companies to export their excess of renewable energy. After intensive political traction in the past years which has trickled up to the European Council negotiations, the second Lisbon declaration co-signed in July 2018 by the Portuguese, French and Spanish governments has set them in the right direction.

Finally, Portugal will have to convert the outcome of its latest tendering regulations so-called “special regime” into a long-term success, prioritizing the selection of projects with mature technologies such as Solar. The latest tenders finalized in August 2018 have indeed closed a generous year for Solar, with the construction of more than 1000 MW of unsubsidized solar projects.

SolarPower Europe speaks at UNEF’s Conference about PPAs and the new European Renewable Energy Directive in Barcelona

By: Mariano Guillén, Policy Advisor

After years of uncertainty, the future of Spain’s solar market looks much more luminous than ever. The new direction of the Spanish government and the prospects for corporate sourcing of renewables are largely to thank.

The approval of the royal decree earlier this month that puts an end to the “sun tax” and that eliminates administrative barriers imposed on self-consumption projects, is very good news for the sector and especially for “green” industrial players. Now it is time for them to invest in “sourcing” renewable energy and add to the already 1,500 MW signed through PPAs. In this context, the Unión Española Fotovoltáica (UNEF) organized a technical conference, where policy makers and experts from the renewables and energy sector presented the situation of corporate sourcing in Spain.

During the event, opened by the Spanish MEP José Blanco, more than 20 experts from the solar and energy sectors, including SolarPower Europe, debated the technical and regulatory challenges of PPA contracts, highlighting the crucial role of PPAs in promoting renewable energy thus contributing to the achievement of the European and national renewable targets. Mariano Guillén, Policy Advisor of SolarPower Europe, presented different successful examples of how different PPA models are spreading all over Europe. He also explained how the RE-Source Platform is promoting different initiatives to untap the potential of corporate sourcing of renewable energy in Europe.

SolarPower Europe gives evidence to committee of Italian Senate

By: Sonia Dunlop, Senior Policy Advisor

As part of an evidence gathering process on renewable self-consumption being undertaken by the committee on energy and industry of the Italian Senate, SolarPower Europe’s Senior Policy Advisor Sonia Dunlop gave evidence to the committee on residential and industrial PV self-consumption on 6 November. The session covered the different business models available and the choices now facing the Italian government in the transposition of the new EU Renewables Directive into Italian law. In the directive, a number of issues were left open for Member States to choose – especially on the rules governing self-consumption in the commercial and industrial sector. This is part of SolarPower Europe’s lobbying at national level on implementation of the renewables directive, as well as influencing national capitals as part of our “Small is Beautiful” campaign on priority dispatch and balancing responsibility exemptions for small-scale PV within market design.

The Balkan Forum Podcast interviews SolarPower Europe on Europe’s solar outlook

By: Raffaele Rossi, Policy Analyst

Balkan Forum Podcast discusses solar trends and developments in the region

Raffaele Rossi, Policy Analyst at SolarPower Europe, discussed in an interview trends and development in the energy sector, and solar photovoltaics in particular, with Astrit Istrefi, Executive Director of the Balkan Forum.

The Balkan Forum is a regional, multisector platform designed to advance sustainable cross-border dialogue and create a shared regional vision and agenda for cooperative action in the Balkan region based on economic development, democratic values, and the rule of law. The platform is active in the promotion of green energy in the Balkan region and advocating for policies to be aligned with agreements and criteria on this matter. Additionally, it supports the efforts by civil society organisations, businesses and governments, and moving from black to green energy, aiming to raise public awareness on these issues.

During the interview, the following topics were covered:

  • Why are countries around the world moving from black to green energy?
  • What are the key benefits of solar to environment, public health, family and/or business?
  • What is the status of development of solar PV around the world and across Europe?
  • How can policymakers support the switch from fossil fuels to renewables and, in particular, the uptake of solar?

The full podcast with the interview is available here.

SolarWorX wins SolarPower Europe’s 1st Digital Solar & Storage Start-up Award

By: Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence

Photo: Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor, SolarPower Europe; Felix Boldt, CEO, SolarWorX, winner of the 1st Digital Solar & Storage Start-up Award

SolarPower Europe’s 1st Digital Solar & Storage Start-up Award was won by SolarWorX, a German off-grid solar company.

SolarWorX is a renewable energy start-up founded in 2017 that designs and manufactures scalable, modular solar power solutions to provide direct and clean access to energy for the global off-grid population. Its core business model is business-to-business sales to local distribution partners with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

SolarWorX aims to substitute fossil fuels in off-grid markets worldwide with pay-as-you-go solar home and business solutions. Its systems are modular – customers can start small with household electrification and add more units, such as irrigation pumps, along with their growing income and energy needs. The company is also working on a DC micro grid extension module that will allow connecting existing devices with each other to form a micro grid, thus improving efficiency, productivity and allowing energy trading amongst villagers.

“SolarWorX has developed a clever, clean power solution based on solar and digital technology that addresses the needs of over 1 billion people who still live without access to electricity. The conference audience picking the winner for SolarPower Europe’s 1st Digital Solar & Storage Start-up Award has made a very good choice,” said Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor of SolarPower Europe.

“We didn’t expect to win this competition since the focus was quite strong on European topics, so we are even more honoured to have received it. It was great to see that people in Europe care so much about African topics as well. We fight for seeing a young generation of Africans growing up in the presence of solar energy as their primary source of energy. The energy transition is global,” said Felix Boldt, CEO of SolarWorX.

The Digital Solar & Storage Start-Up Award, worth 5,000 Euros, was awarded at SolarPower Europe’s Digital Solar & Storage Conference in Munich on 4-5 December. SolarWorX was one of four start-ups (EasySolar, ReVolta, Singulair) that were invited to present their business ideas at the conference after a jury had short-listed them from over 20 applicants. Following their presentations and a Q&A, the conference audience selected the winner. The 1st Digital Solar & Storage Start-Up Award was sponsored by Enerparc.

Digital solar and storage will drive transition to a smarter energy system

Photo: Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence, SolarPower Europe and Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director, SolarPower Europe at Digital Solar & Storage 2018

Over 200 smart energy players came together for the only European event on ‘Digital Solar & Storage‘ on 4-5 at the BMW World in Munich.

Bruce Douglas, Deputy CEO of SolarPower Europe opened the event, stating:The digitalisation of the electricity system is at the core of a successful energy transition to a fully flexible and electrified energy system, based on zero marginal cost renewables such as solar PV. Digital solar and storage will come to form a new renewable energy baseload in Europe that will make the energy transition cheaper, generate more economic value and increase the number of jobs in solar. To do this we must get the right market design in place for our sector that will unleash the new era of smart solar power.”

SolarPower Europe presented its new “When solar policy went digital” report, which includes case studies from eight European countries of how policy can be used to encourage digitalisation and innovation in the solar PV ecosystem.

“Our first report, Digitalisation & Solar, identified the new business models that are emerging thanks to digitalisation. This year’s report looks at what policy is needed to allow these business models to come forward. We look at eight case studies from different European countries of how policy-makers are already encouraging innovation and call for more action at European level if we are to make the most of this business opportunity” said Sonia Dunlop, Policy Advisor, Digitalisation and Solar Task Force coordinator and lead author of the report.

“Digital solar and storage will accelerate the global energy transition and form the backbone of our future energy supply. Completely new technologies and business models will arise from this. They will be shaped by innovative companies to provide for a cost-efficient, sustainable and secure energy supply. It is now on the policy makers to create the regulatory environment to make the change happen,” said SMA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jürgen Reinert.

Download the When solar policy went digital Report

SolarPower Europe calls for a Network of 5GW Solar Module factories to be established in Europe

Industrial Policy Takes Centre Stage in Focus of SolarPower Europe’s Policy Ambition for 2019 and Beyond

SolarPower Europe has launched a major policy push for an industrial strategy for solar in Europe. The core element of this call for action is the ambition to see large scale module manufacturing set up in Europe. SolarPower Europe represents the European solar manufacturing community with over 35 leading EU solar industrial players backing the call including Wacker, SMA, Total, Weidmuller, Voestalpine, SolarWatt, ABB, Enel and Meyer Burger.

Dr Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe, unveiled the new call “SolarPower Europe today has brought forward its policy asks to develop all segments of the manufacturing value chain in Europe. We believe that the time is right to focus on developing the supply side policy framework to support the new market opportunities that SolarPower Europe has fought for, and won, on the Clean Energy Package and in the Trade case, over the past year. Demand for solar is set to rise soon to around 15GW a year in Europe and we should now see a concerted effort to deliver on every segment of the industrial value chain here in Europe. Our members unanimously backed this call both in our Industrial Strategy Taskforce and at our Board meeting. We want to see all solar products, including wafers, cells and modules, made in the EU in the coming years.”

Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe, enthused “We have contributed significantly to creating the positive market environment for solar in Europe, our focus is now on delivering an industrial policy. We had our first success this year by driving the process to see the Clean Energy Industrial Forum created by the European Commission. Now we have ambitious policy asks on the table and we expect our European policymakers to deliver. Not only do we want 5 GW cell and module factories in Europe, driven through relaxation of state aid laws, but we also want to see specific regulatory support to ensure that finance is accessible, land is made cheaply available to manufacturers, energy costs are kept low and that administrative burdens to develop and grow solar manufacturing companies are addressed and reduced.”

SolarPower Europe’s key recommendations will be put in front of the European Commissioner for Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, in January at the next high-level Clean Energy Industrial Forum.

SolarPower Summit 2019: Europe’s back in business!

By: Saskia Choffel, Business Development & Marketing Officer

Europe is back in solar business, don’t get left behind! Join the SolarPower Summit, 6-7 March 2019

The adoption of a strong European renewable target of at least 32% by 2030 and recent removal of solar trade duties on PV panels have paved the way for a new European Solar boom. We forecast a strong market growth in Europe, with a demand for Solar expected to grow over 60% in 2018! With a changing European energy landscape, shaped by ever falling technology costs, breakthrough innovations, as well as national and international policy developments, how will you position yourself in this new solar era?

Join us for our annual SolarPower Summit on 6-7 March 2019 to get the latest strategic, political and market intelligence shaping the future of solar in Europe. Over 300 leading industry representatives and high-level policy makers will meet in Brussels for one of the most important solar energy events of the year. We are also pleased to announce that Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission and in charge of the Energy Union is confirmed as keynote speaker at the SolarPower Summit!

More information: http://www.solarpowersummit.org/

Registration now open!

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