SolarPower Europe newsletter

September was a busy month for SolarPower Europe! Read about all our activities in the past month and learn the latest news on the policy front. If you have comments, please contact Kristina Thoring, Communications Director at SolarPower Europe. 

It is time for an industrial competitiveness strategy for solar in Europe

By Christian Westermeier, President, SolarPower Europe

Photo: Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič speaking at SolarPower Europe’s High-level Industry Forum at Intersolar Europe in Munich on 21 June / Photographer: Fiona Castiñeira

On 31st August the European Commission announced the end of the trade measures on solar panels and cells from China, Taiwan and Malaysia. We applaud the Commission’s decision to let the five-year long trade measures lapse – it is unquestionably the right move for Europe. We have learned that trade duties are simply not the right tool for our industry as we have experienced a series of unintended, negative consequences. We have seen a serious decline in solar installations, jobs and solar manufacturing whilst the measures have been in place. Now it is high time to find policies that help our entire sector grow.

In the Commission’s trade announcement they stated that it was in the best interest of the EU to let the measures lapse, especially taking into account the EU’s new renewable energy targets. Indeed, the EU agreed in June 2018 to increase the renewable energy target from 27% to 32% by 2030, which means that we need to install much more solar in the coming years. 

With the new EU 32% renewable energy target and the end of the solar trade measures, we are setting the stage for a new solar age in Europe. As we embark upon this next chapter, it is crucial that we put in place an industrial competitiveness strategy to support a strong and competitive solar sector.

Let’s not forget that Europe is a solar industry leader. European researchers, production equipment suppliers, raw and processing materials companies and inverter manufacturers, are world industry leaders. We need an over-arching strategy for the solar power sector to make sure that Europe continues to lead on solar whilst at the same time ensuring that all segments of the EU solar value chain benefit.

SolarPower Europe has pioneered a comprehensive industrial competitiveness strategy that will see Europe take global leadership on solar and generate countless new business opportunities and jobs. With an industrial strategy policy in place, the solar sector alone could support 300,000 jobs by 2030. As a result of the recent pro-solar policy changes, we expect to see significant growth in solar deployment in Europe. In this scenario the development of supply side policies is critical, thus it is one of the key asks in our industrial strategy. You can read more about our industrial objectives and 2030 vision here. Our work has been highly recognised and resulted in the creation of the Clean Energy Industrial Forum led by Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič. The aim of the Forum is to strengthen the industrial basis and the EU value chain for renewable energy technologies, such as solar power. We look forward to working with the European Commission and industry leaders to ensure an industrial competitiveness strategy that will bolster the European solar sector for decades to come. 

If you would like to learn more about our industrial strategy or take part in our Industrial Competitiveness Task Force, please contact Sonia Dunlop, Senior Policy Advisor at SolarPower Europe.

Related articles:

Europe to take solar industry leadership with industrial competitiveness strategy

Vice-President Šefčovič urges Solar Sector to Support EU Industrial Strategy

What is your #GenerationSolar story?

By Kristina Thoring, Communications Director

Photo: The Sun Tree in Oslo is a social meeting place where you can charge anything from mobile phones and computers to electric grills, guitar amps or food truck equipment – all powered by the sun.

SolarPower Europe is proud to present its first ever video-series ‘Generation Solar’ –  real and personal stories about how solar is powering our lives across Europe.

We have travelled across the continent to hear how solar is empowering European citizens in a huge variety of ways; from solar powered apartments and farms to charging points for cars and mobile phones. You can watch the first five videos below.

Now we would like to hear your Generation Solar story! Solar is being used all around Europe in many surprising ways – on airports, shopping centres to sports stadiums. Share your story here of how solar is powering your home, work and life. Your story will be featured on our website and our social media channels.

Generation Solar, Episode 1:  Back to (solar) school!  Solar is powering the next generation!

Since the beginning of 2018 Le Verseau International School in Brussels, Belgium has been getting its electricity from more than 350 solar panels placed on the school’s rooftops. The panels produce the equivalent electricity for 30 Belgian households and the renewable energy will generate more than €180,000 in savings for the school. The cost savings mean the school can reinvest their money into other education initiatives and equipment for the students.

Generation Solar, Episode 2: Meet Romania’s solar residents  

The Cartierul Solar Neighbourhood in Bucharest represents the first residential complex in Romania equipped with solar panels for green energy generation and the largest assembly in South-East Europe built to this scale. With 15 residential buildings, 14,000 square metres of green space, 120 solar panels, and a total investment of €45 million, the Neighbourhood aims to create a new housing standard to become the reference point for the real estate market and eco-friendly lifestyle in Bucharest.

Generation Solar, Episode 3: Solar is powering your Snapchat! Re-charge your batteries with solar charging trees

The “Sun Mobility” project is an initiative by Møller Mobility Group to make Oslo city cleaner and greener in the lead up to Oslo being Europe’s Green Capital in 2019. The Sun Tree is a social meeting place where you can charge anything from mobile phones and computers to electric grills, guitar amps or food truck equipment – all powered by the sun. Each solar tree can charge 1500 mobile phones per day. The solar trees show how effective solar energy is, even in the Nordic climate, contributing to meet the increased demand from Oslo citizens towards environmentally friendly, alternative mobility solutions in the city. The project is driven by a new way of thinking around urban life and mobility, and exemplifies a greener, emission-free and sharing-based mobility.

Generation Solar, Episode 4: Solar-powered electric cars: Solar is leading the clean energy transport revolution

‘We Drive Solar’ is a car-sharing scheme that drives on 100% solar power. In Utrecht, Netherlands there are 30 solar powered charging stations, providing clean and zero-emission electricity. This car-sharing scheme allows for flexible and smart mobility in the hustle and bustle of city life – while reducing air pollution and car traffic. Solar power will undoubtedly help facilitate the clean energy transport revolution! 

Generation Solar, Episode 5: Solar is making farming more sustainable! Using the sun in more ways than one

The Wilhelm family farm in Puch, Austria is 27 hectares and has 80,000 apple trees. Solar powers nearly 100% of the farm’s energy needs – it is used to process fruit (apples, pears and plums), to cool it in cold storage barns, for the juicer, and for lighting in the shop. The farm uses around 85% of the solar energy it generates, while the rest is fed into the grid. In the future, even the Schnapps production could be done using solar power, and the Wilhelm family hope to pass on sustainable farming to the next generation.

Related articles:

SolarPower Europe launches ‘We Are All Generation Solar’ campaign

Interview: Trina Solar has positioned itself in the market as a total solutions provider for solar energy

By Kristina Thoring, Communications Director

Photo: Lyreco National Distribution Centre Telford, UK / Trina Solar
We talked with Gonzalo de la Viña, Head of European Module Business at Trina Solar about the company’s recent 20th anniversary and what’s next for the world’s top PV module manufacturer. 
SolarPower Europe: Trina Solar recently celebrated its 20th anniversary – what have been your key achievements over the past 20 years and what’s next for Trina Solar?

Gonzalo de la Viña, Trina Solar: In 1997, solar PV was still a niche industry and Trina Solar emerged as a pioneer. In these 20 years, thanks to the trust and support from all our partners around the globe, Trina Solar has become the world’s top PV module manufacturer.

Trina Solar has positioned itself in the market as a total solutions provider for solar energy. We move up the value chain by offering value-added products and services to all clients. While maintaining our module business in the long term, we have taken the lead in the PV industry by investing in energy IoT (internet of things).

This year we launched TrinaPro, a smart PV solution that can significantly reduce system LCoE. It combines premium components, optimized system integration and smart O&M interconnection. In May we have acquired Nclave, a best-in-class European tracker manufacturer, whose products are an integral part of TrinaPro. – At the same time we have launched Trinahome, our corresponding solution for residential applications. Trinahome integrates high performance PV modules with efficient hybrid inverters and battery storage systems.

SolarPower Europe: Speaking of your business in Europe: How do you see the market, what is your situation and what is necessary to be successful in the future?

Gonzalo de la Viña, Trina Solar: Trina Solar’s top product quality goes hand in hand with our ambition to be close to our partners in every market. We are constantly expanding our team, geographic coverage and service level. By doing so, we are able to act locally and respond effectively to special needs from every market.

A good example of the company`s local commitment is France. For this market, Trina Solar has developed a specific low carbon footprint module that meets the requirements for French CRE tenders. The low carbon footprint validation has allowed Trina Solar customers and partners to fulfill official requirements and actively contribute to the challenges of the energetic transition.

In Europe, Trina Solar was one of the first companies to exit the undertaking and MIP, thanks to setting up production facilities in South East Asia. This helped us reached the milestone of 1GW shipments in 2017. According to data from IHS Markit, we have 12% market share with a total regional volume of 620MW for the first half of 2018, with a very large part of this volume in distribution business.

In Europe we see high demand for top performance products; new technologies such as half-cut cells and bifacial modules are key to success. Trina Solar owns these technologies. Our integrated solutions such as TrinaPro and Trinahome, and our high innovation power in module and solution development, are very important.

SolarPower Europe: How do recent policy changes in China affect your business?

Gonzalo de la Viña, Trina Solar: Our globalized business system bolsters Trina Solar’s ability to withstand market volatility; volatile markets may be balanced by other markets. This is why Trina Solar remains unruffled by market fluctuations, and helps us to achieve annual growth as opposed to the market outlook. In 2017, our overseas sales exceeded sales in China, contributing over 55% in volume. Trina Solar has expanded to 103 countries globally, with offices in around 40 countries.

The company’s reliability and financial stability has always been highly valued by the market. We just received another top notch Bloomberg rating for bankability in 2018, the third one in a row. Our customers know that they receive high quality products from a company that will take a stand for them tomorrow.

Trina Solar is one of only eight of SolarPower Europe’s over 200 members that have become active in our highest membership category as a Sponsor Member.

EU Industrial Leaders Round Table at EU PVSEC

By Kristina Thoring, Communications Director

Photo: Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe, Martin Hackl, Global Director Solar Energy, Fronius, Luc de Marliave, Responsable Relations institutionnelles Europe, Total, Paula Abreu Marques, Head of Unit for “Renewables and CCS policy”, DG Energy, European Commission, Gunter Erfurt, CTO, Meyer Burger and Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor, SolarPower Europe.

SolarPower Europe together with EU PVSEC held the EU Industrial Leaders Round Table on 24 September to discuss the next policy actions needed to support SolarPower Europe’s industrial strategy and the European Commission’s Clean Energy Industrial Forum.

The event was opened by Sami Andoura, Team Leader for Sustainable Development, European Political Strategy Centre, European Commission. Andoura underlined the importance of Europe taking leadership on renewables to reach the EU’s 2050 decarbonisation goals. Next, industry leaders from Fronius, Meyer Burger and Total gave their views on the actions needed to support a growing solar industry in Europe.  

Paula Abreu Marques, Head of Unit for Renewables and CCS Policy at DG Energy, European Commission explained the rationale of the Clean Energy Industrial Forum to reinforce EU competitiveness in renewables, batteries and construction. Marques also stated that the EU wants to support the European industry in scaling up their investments beyond the European market to generate more value.

Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe, spoke about the need for an industrial strategy to benefit all segments of the solar value chain in Europe. Beauvais pointed to the new EU 32% renewable energy target and the end of the solar trade measures, stating that we need an industrial competitiveness strategy for the European solar sector.  

Related articles:

Europe to take solar industry leadership with industrial competitiveness strategy

Vice-President Šefčovič urges Solar Sector to Support EU Industrial Strategy

The first Solar Mobility Workshop: choosing solar for the driver’s seat!

By Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor

Photo: Panel debate at the Solar Mobility Workshop held at the BMW Brand Store.

Electricity is an emerging global trend, and the key to Europe’s transition to low-carbon transport. However, we must make sure that the electricity used for e-mobility is generated from renewable sources and solar, to make sure that transport will contribute to the decarbonisation of the EU economy.

To this end, solar emerges as the perfect partner. Agile and easy to integrate to any infrastructure (carport, charging station, vehicle, train) solar is a perfect solution for urban areas, traditionally constrained by space, that wish to develop a truly renewable mobility policy.

Solar and electric vehicles also present strong synergies, first on the user side: a study from Clean Technical published in 2017 reveals that up to 30-40% of PV owners also have an electric vehicle (EV), therefore opening a world of opportunities for innovative retail offers. Solar and EV’s are also strongly complementary from a system perspective: while most EV’s are parked during the day, the timing matches perfectly with solar generation. Solar power supplies the additional electricity demand of EV’s, reducing the pressure on the electricity system in the day-time. In return, EV’s will support further solar integration, smoothening the amount of solar injected into the grid during low consumption periods. A win-win situation that can be achieved not only through on-site production (direct), but also through aggregation or power purchase agreements!

To reflect on this opportunity, high-level policy makers and business leaders from the automotive and solar industry gathered on the 19th of September for SolarPower Europe’s first Solar Mobility Workshop.

Pascal Smet, Minister for Mobility and Public Works of the Brussels Capital Region underlined the importance of such initiatives to support the city’s energy transition and mentioned the recent decision to build 100 charging stations powered with renewable energy in Brussels. Dominique Ristori, Director General for Energy at the European Commission, shared Smet’s enthusiasm recalling that solar energy constitutes an unique opportunity to decarbonise the transport sector at a faster pace and at a lowest-cost for society.

Building on these political perspectives, representatives from the industry reflected on the business opportunities for solar and mobility. Riccardo Amoroso (Enel X) pointed out the need to bring consumers onboard, referring to synergies between self-consumption and the electrification of transport. Christopher Burghardt (Chargepoint) explained the benefits of supporting smart charging with decentralised generation; while Frauke Thies (SmartEn) stressed the central role of third-party service providers extracting the value of solar and smart charging, to optimise the system and economic impact. Alexandra Sombsthay (Solar Impulse), recalled that several companies across all sectors, including aviation and the maritime industry, now envisage solar-powered mobility as a viable business model.

After a successful event and building on the strong interest from both solar and automotive industries, SolarPower Europe’s Solar Mobility Task Force will now deep-dive into the many emerging business models and opportunities and pave the way for solar to become the leading player in the clean mobility revolution.

If you are interesting in joining SolarPower Europe’s Solar Mobility Task Force, please contact Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor at SolarPower Europe.

Related articles:

SolarPower Europe launches Solar Mobility Task Force to fast-track solar-powered electric mobility

SolarPower Europe launches new Solar and Electrification Task Force

By Mariano Guillén, Policy Advisor

Photo: The Solar Electrification Task Force kick-off meeting held on 13th September.

SolarPower Europe’s new solar and electrification task force aims to explore the role of solar in the EU’s 2050 low-carbon economy roadmap.

The ratification of the Paris Agreement by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015 is a crucial step towards keeping the global temperature increase to well below 2°C, and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Yet, several indicators suggest that the EU will miss its target. 

In March 2018, EU leaders called on the European Commission to present “a proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction in accordance with the Paris Agreement”. This proposal will embody Europe’s political vision on the optimal technological pathways for the deep-decarbonisation of the European economy, proposing new long-term pledges by member states for 2050 and including a new proposal for Europe’s 2030 CO2 target (45%) to reflect the higher ambitions adopted for renewable energies and energy efficiency.

To deliver this vision, all sectors of the economy must undergo a profound transformation: the European energy system will have to pivot from incumbent technologies to renewables, while the industry, transport and the building sectors will have to significantly speed up their decarbonisation process. In this context, renewable electricity will play a prominent role, to satisfy increasing demand stemming from the progressive electrification of our economy.

It seems solar could get the lion’s share, as all major 2050 scenarios published in the past months (Shell, IEA or IRENA) anticipate that solar would become the main renewable energy source at global level. Such scenarios are all the more relevant for Europe’s long-term strategy as solar is becoming the cheapest source of electricity at global level, and demonstrates a unique potential to generate direct and indirect jobs and economic growth.

What exactly is needed to make solar electrification a reality? To address all these challenges, SolarPower Europe launched on September 13th its new Solar Electrification task force. The task force will explore the benefits and drivers of solar and electrification to support an ambitious and cost-efficient decarbonisation strategy at the European level.

If you are interested in contributing to SolarPower Europe’s vision that will feed into the EU’s 2050 strategy, please contact Mariano Guillén, Policy Advisor at SolarPower Europe.

Delivering Europe’s solar ambitions through the right Electricity Market Design

By Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director

Photo: Street art: "The future is Europe” © European Union, 2017 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Lukasz Kobus

In June last year, the agreement struck on the Renewable Energy Directive demonstrated a strong European leadership to accelerate the clean energy transition. These ambitions can only be delivered with the right electricity market design: from the uptake of small-scale solar to the development of a more renewable-fit market and placing limitations on capacity mechanisms, there is a lot at stake for the solar sector. So, where are we?

With five trialogue meetings planned by the end of the year, negotiations on Market Design are set to speed up. Backed by Commissioner Arias Cañete as well as several Member States, the Austrian Presidency has already announced its desire to close the deal ahead of the Council of Ministers planned on December 19th, 2018.

Important provisions have been discussed already such as ways to promote the development of future-proofed electricity market rules, fostering the integration and participation of renewable energies and new flexibility providers. Shorter trading periods, bidding products adapted to the size and specificities of new market players – renewables, aggregators, energy storage – and a level-playing field for the market access of new entrants are part of the key provisions on the negotiation table. On this matter, it seems both the European Council and the Parliament are heading in the right direction.

Negotiations are slightly hotter regarding the provisions to support the uptake of active customers (article 15 of the Directive), through the removal of disproportionate administrative and financial burdens, and deployment of competitive markets for storage (articles 36 and 54 of the Directive). In this regard,  it is paramount that co-legislators confirm the pragmatic balance stroke within the Renewable Energy Directive on solar prosumers, ensuring proportionate administrative procedures and charges and enabling them to provide grid services. Electricity storage deployment should be supported by developing a competitive market, while strictly limiting the ownership by system operators to cases of market failures.

The Austrian Presidency has confirmed that the negotiations on the above-mentioned provisions would be closed in the following weeks, to let some time for more controversial items of the market design legislation. SolarPower Europe’s key priorities such as the market framework for small-scale installations (Small is Beautiful), regional cooperation on system operation and balancing (ROCs) or the provisions related to the implementation of capacity remuneration mechanisms and its related carbon criterion (EPS), will therefore become increasingly topical in the coming weeks, ahead of the third trialogue on October 18th.

Related articles:

Clean Energy Package: the Bulgarian presidency seals three crucial files before the end of its mandate

Small is Beautiful: Securing a local energy transition through the right Electricity Market Design

By Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director

Photo: City of the Sun District in the Netherlands © Frans Lemmens

In November 2017 under the leadership of SolarPower Europe, 13 renewable and trade associations launched the Small is Beautiful campaign, urging policy makers to take a step-wise approach towards the market integration of small-scale renewable and high efficiency cogeneration installations in Europe.

While provisions put forward by the Council General approach in December 2017 could severely endanger the future of small-scale installations, the European Parliament responded with pragmatism in February 2018, showing strong support for the European Commission’s proposal to maintain priority dispatch and balancing responsibility exemptions for renewable and high-efficiency cogeneration installations below 500kW.

Following this new ray of hope, several associations have joined the movement, from property owners (UIPI) to the mayors of European smart cities (Energy cities), from building constructors (EBC) to European SME’s (UEAPME). Inevitably, the face of the “Small is Beautiful” campaign evolved to reflect the widespread economic and social benefits of decentralised renewables across sectors.

Indeed, small-scale renewables will not only foster the uptake of new business models and support innovation, they are driving local development and growth for SMEs across all sectors and enable communities to grasp the economic benefits of self-consumption, job creation and rural development. These benefits will not materialise if small-scale producers are exposed to disproportionate measures, without proper services and products in place.

It is therefore critical that the Austrian Presidency leading the Electricity market design negotiations, reopens the debate on the market integration for small-scale installations. At this stage and while inter-institutional negotiations on the Electricity market design kick-started in June, the issue has not yet been placed on the negotiations table.

To raise awareness on the issue, supporters of the Small is Beautiful coalition will be hosting a high-level briefing on the 16th of October, to discuss the step-wise market integration of small-scale renewables and high-efficiency cogeneration. The event aims at building a dialogue between local actors driving the small-scale transition – farmers, cooperatives, cities, etc – and European policy makers, to work on a pragmatic solution combining the need to enhance market participation of renewables and support the backbone of Europe’s future industrial leadership in renewables.

Related articles:

EBC joins the Small is Beautiful campaign: Small scale installations support clean energy future and create local jobs

Property Owners call on EU Member States to protect small-scale renewable installations

European renewable energy cooperatives join campaign to defend small-scale renewable installations

Mexico: SolarPower Europe and ASOLMEX launch Spanish version of the O&M Best Practices Guidelines

By Máté Heisz, Business Analyst

Photo: ASOLMEX and SolarPower Europe representatives at the launch of the Spanish version of the O&M Best Practices Guidelines.

On 6 September 2018 at the Green Expo in Mexico City, SolarPower Europe and ASOLMEX launched the Mexican edition of the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Best Practices Guidelines. The document was presented at a joint workshop which featured a series of presentations by SolarPower Europe members Clean Solar Solutions, BayWa r.e., Enel Green Power, QOS Energy and TÜV Rheinland.

The presentations covered various topics related to O&M such as bankability, power plant operations, maintenance, monitoring and module cleaning best practices. The presentations were followed by discussions between European and Mexican experts. The entire workshop documentation can be downloaded here.

The workshop was followed by a working meeting between SolarPower Europe and ASOLMEX on 7 September in ASOLMEX’s offices. In the working meeting, the representatives of the two associations discussed future cooperation possibilities on issues such as market intelligence, clean energy certificates, storage, digitalisation and rooftop solar. If you are interested in the Mexican market and would like to get involved, please contact Máté Heisz at

In June 2018, SolarPower Europe and ASOLMEX signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore new business opportunities for solar companies in the European and Mexican solar markets. Operations and Maintenance was identified as one of the key areas of cooperation in the agreement.

The Spanish-language Mexican edition of the O&M Best Practices Guidelines, is based on Version 2.0 of the O&M Best Practices Guidelines and addresses the specificities of the Mexican solar market. It was prepared in collaboration between SolarPower Europe and ASOLMEX and is supported by the “Large Scale Solar Energy Program” of the German-Mexican bilateral cooperation, implemented by the Mexican Secretariat of Energy (SENER) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Related articles:

Operations and Maintenance guidelines to support further solar growth in Mexico

SolarPower Europe launches world’s first Solar O&M Best Practices Mark

SolarPower Europe delegation joins India-EU Clean Energy Days

By Máté Heisz, Business Analyst

Photo: India-EU Clean Energy Days / Photographer: Beyond Borders

Upon the invitation of the European Commission, member companies E.ON, 3E, Alectris and QOS Energy represented SolarPower Europe at the India-EU Clean Energy Days on 17-21 September in Greater Noida, India. The SolarPower Europe delegation gave presentations about topics such as SolarPower Europe’s O&M Best Practices Guidelines, digitalisation and performance optimisation of solar power plants and new business models in the rooftop solar segment.

As one of the most exciting and fastest growing solar markets, India has been selected as a focus market by SolarPower Europe’s Emerging Markets Task Force. The India workstream of the Emerging Markets Task Force is led by E.ON’s Jens Martin, who attended the 2nd Global RE-Invest conference on 3-5 October in India. If you are interested in the Indian market and would like to get involved in SolarPower Europe’s activities, please contact Máté Heisz at

The India-EU Clean Energy Days were featured in the Renewable Energy India 2018 Expo, the international exhibition for renewable energy. The EU-India Clean Energy Days & International Matchmaking was organised by Business Beyond Borders (BBB) together with European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) and supported by the European Commission. This event was a great opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the EU-India relations in the key area of clean technologies and to take active part in the discussions with high level speakers in the sector.

The SolarPower Europe Emerging Markets Task Force, chaired by Eni, was launched in March 2018 and is currently working on five market reports on India, Mozambique, Myanmar, Morocco and Senegal and a database of existing financing instruments available for solar project development in emerging markets.

Related articles:

SolarPower Webinar: Market opportunities for solar energy in Mozambique

SolarPower Europe presents the European solar market outlook at Kosovo Green Festival

By Raffaele Rossi, Policy Analyst

Photo: Raffaele Rossi giving a presentation on the solar outlook in Europe at the Green Festival Kosovo.

For the second year in a row, SolarPower Europe had the opportunity to represent the European solar PV industry at the Third Green Festival Kosovo. The event, organized by the USAID project EMPOWER Private Sector in collaboration with the Kosovo Manufacturing Club, took place on September 19-22 at the 1st October Hall in Pristina, Kosovo. The Green Festival offered a networking platform for businesses, government agencies, donors, research entities and additional stakeholders, with the purpose of disseminating knowledge on sustainability solutions and green business opportunities.

At the third edition of this event, international and local experts discussed the latest trends and news on renewable energy, energy efficiency, e-mobility infrastructure, waste management success stories, and sustainable business opportunities. In parallel to the conference, a dedicated exhibition area allowed local companies working in the green economy to showcase their products – among others, solar PV modules, BOS equipment, and products for circular economy solutions.

Raffaele Rossi, Policy Analyst at SolarPower Europe, gave a presentation about the current state of the solar PV market globally and at the European level, including market trends and forecasts of future developments. He also presented to the audience SolarPower Europe’s work on Solar & Storage, outlining the benefits that the combination of these technologies can provide to the energy system and to society at large, in terms of reduced greenhouse emissions, local jobs creation and consumers empowerment.

At the Green Festival, further discussions focused on the regulatory and policy frameworks for renewable energy in the Balkan region, with representatives from the regulatory agencies of Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo exchanging updates and comparing pros and cons of the various support schemes in the different countries.

The production and installation of solar PV in Kosovo has increased significantly in recent times: during the last year, 2.5 MW of solar capacity were installed – a tenfold growth compared to 2014, when annual installations amounted to less than 240 kW. The vast majority of systems belong to the commercial and industrial segments.

Related articles:

Global Market Outlook 2018-2022

SolarPower Europe Launches 1st Digital Solar & Storage Award

By Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor

Photo: Speakers at last year’s Digital Solar & Storage event.

The challenges of the energy transition are manifold – and so are the solutions. With digitalization and storage being the backbone of a future sector-coupled flexible energy system offering clean energy for all in the European Union, SolarPower Europe is looking for the brightest business ideas in this field. At the Digital Solar & Storage 2018 Conference, SolarPower Europe will present the first award with the same name – the Digital Solar & Storage 2018 Start-up Award. The prize money is 5000 Euros.

Who: The competition will be open to early start-ups active in the field of digitalization and solar storage. The companies need to be already VC-backed (but are not yet making revenue from product sales) and have less than 10 employees.

How: Interested early start-ups have to send a 3-page presentation explaining their business idea. A jury will evaluate the incoming presentations, select 8 companies for a longlist, which will all receive a free entry ticket to the event. Of these, the jury will shortlist 4 companies that will be offered the opportunity to present their business idea to the audience at the Digital Solar & Storage 2018 Conference. The winner will be selected through a vote by the audience.

When: The competition opened on 17 September and will close on 31 October. A longlist with 8 companies will be published on 7 November, a shortlist with 4 companies will be published on 15 November, the voting will take place and award will be given on 4 December.

If you have any questions, would like to apply or sponsor the Digital Solar & Storage Award Event, please contact: Michael Schmela at

About the Digital Solar & Storage event:

Join us on 4-5 December 2018 in BMW World to discuss the latest trends shaping tomorrow’s energy supply and meet 150+ high-level executives from utilities, digital innovators and storage solution suppliers.

Register here:

RE-Source 2018: Leading corporate buyers & clean energy suppliers will meet in Amsterdam for the biggest European event on corporate renewable energy sourcing

By Saskia Choffel, Business Development & Marketing Officer and Charlotte Otten, Events Manager

Corporate renewable energy sourcing has never been so popular, and it is only set to grow in the coming years. This is because corporate renewable energy sourcing makes sense – from an environmental, political and commercial perspective. The recent announcement of a 32% renewables target for the EU by 2030 means there will be more clean power than ever in Europe’s energy mix. Corporately-sourced renewables will be a significant portion of this clean energy, as the new legislation is set to remove significant regulatory barriers to corporate renewable energy sourcing and make the issuing of ‘Guarantees of Origin’ mandatory under many circumstances. The significant decline of government-set feed-in tariffs is now forcing previously reluctant investors to take PPAs for solar and wind seriously as a way to take projects to financial close.

But while the future looks bright for corporate renewable energy sourcing, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Country by country, there are still challenges which renewable energy buyers and sellers need to overcome. This means discussing, learning, and connecting with the right people to best exploit the huge opportunity presented by corporate renewable energy sourcing across different markets.

Join RE-Source 2018 and get on board with the corporate renewable energy revolution

After the enormous success of last year’s inaugural RE-Source event, SolarPower Europe and WindEurope are hosting the second edition of the biggest renewable energy sourcing event in Europe: RE-Source 2018. Hosted in Amsterdam on 20-21 November, the event will allow renewable energy buyers and sellers to connect and capitalise on the corporate renewable sourcing boom.

RE-Source 2018’s strategic partners Google, Microsoft, RES, Engie, Iberdrola and Enel are leading this green energy revolution: this November, Amsterdam is where you can join them to learn, network and do business.

2017 Event at a glance:

  • Over 500 registered participants
  • 220 prescheduled B2B meetings between clean energy buyers and suppliers
  • Speakers and support from senior political and industry figures
  • Representatives from over 70 corporate clean energy buyers

Thematic break-out sessions, B2B matchmaking meetings with leading corporates, and exclusive networking opportunities make RE-Source 2018 this year’s unmissable corporate renewable energy PPA and investment event.

Topics discussed:

  • Corporate sourcing strategies and business models
  • Markets and regulation
  • Demand growth and diversification: How to turn 50 corporates into 50,000?
  • Innovation
  • Standardisation
  • Cities and local authorities
  • Guarantees of Origin

Unlock real business opportunities with B2B Matchmaking Meetings

In order to facilitate B2B connections between renewable energy buyers and renewable electricity suppliers (developers and owners), RE-Source 2018 offers the opportunity for B2B sponsors to meet energy buyers through formal matchmaking meetings.

For more information visit:

O&M Asset Management

By Saskia Choffel, Business Development & Marketing Officer and Charlotte Otten, Events Manager

Early bird tickets are available for O&M and Asset Management 2018. Now in its third year running, the event has truly become a highlight of the sector.

Why you should join:

  • The most cost effective, yet content rich O&M and Asset Management in Europe
  • Top experts: industry leaders, disruptive players & influential academics
  • Networking opportunities with industry peers
  • Exclusive insights into the updated O&M Best Practices Guidelines and newly developed O&M Best Practices Mark
  • Learnings from SolarPower Europe’s leading O&M Task Force: 3 years since its establishment, it has a whole community of experts behind it – the event is where you can meet them in person

5th Solar Forum (UNEF), November 6-7, Madrid, Spain – agenda online!

By Saskia Choffel, Business Development & Marketing Officer

The 5th edition of the Solar Forum, the key event of the Spanish solar industry, will be held later this year on November 6th and 7th in Madrid, as recently announced by the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF). The event will see the participation of renowned national and international industry experts, who will discuss key topics such as the current international framework of PV development, the strategies that PV companies should adopt to be competitive in the market, the opportunities and challenges of the international market and the most interesting niches for self-consumption. The program will also include a session on R & D, organized in collaboration with FOTOPLAT, the Spanish Photovoltaic Technology Platform, in which the latest developments and prospects of development of PV technology will be presented.

>>> Download agenda here

>>> For more information visit:

ees & IBESA Summit France

By Saskia Choffel, Business Development & Marketing Officer

France’s premier summit for electrical energy storage on October 24 highlights the challenges and opportunities of the French energy storage market.

France is forced to increase its share of renewable energy generation. The French government´s goal is to decrease nuclear energy production from 75% to 50% of the electricity mix by 2025. The transition from a highly centralized to a more decentralized production and network system requires massive investments in residential energy efficient measures, smart metering, transmission and distribution of electricity. Hence, energy storage will be increasingly useful and play a vital role within this process.

The ees & IBESA Summit France is the ideal and most time-efficient way to explore new business opportunities and to boost performance in the European energy storage markets and France in particular. High-class speakers from Eaton, Eversheds Sutherland, KiloWattSol, SER-SOLER, Socomec, Hager Group, IRENA, DNV GL, BYD, Sungrow and Sonnen already confirmed their participation. The program will include presentations and panel discussions about European policy frameworks, business climate & technical advances, latest insights from the industry and R&D institutions as well as successful business models & best practices across all energy storage segments.

Strategically located in the border triangle of Germany, Switzerland and France, attendees will connect with key stakeholders from various countries. Sponsors will benefit from a strong brand visibility through the global promotion campaign carried out by ees, EuPD Research, IBESA, TRION-climate and all other partner associations.

Date: October 24, 2018 | 8:00am – 6:00pm
Location: Centre de conférences de l’aar, 14 avenue pierre mendès France, 67300 Schiltigheim, France
Language: English with French translation

PVStream set to improve efficiency of solar industry with new ‘all-in-one’ software solution

Designed specifically for companies involved in PV system installation and PV project management, PVStream was devised with the intention of providing the industry with an integrated all-in-one platform that covers every stage of the solar process: from lead generation to proposal, to design, to monitoring. In doing so, the need for multiple pieces of software is eliminated, helping to increase efficiency, cut costs and simplify the way the PV world works.

Developed based on feedback from solar energy companies based around the world, PVStream has been designed to be both easy to use, whilst also being fully tunable to regional and business specifics. Proposals can be created in less than 5 minutes and designs can be produced in less than half an hour.

Proposal preparation itself has been simplified to the point that it can now be carried out by sales or admin staff, leaving engineers free to focus on the more essential side of their job. The process is simplified for users and all the complex calculations are automated. As it’s a web-based platform, PVStream can be accessed from any device with a working internet connection.

PVStream has been recognised by the international renewable energy community as a technological breakthrough, and its paper Methodology of Solar Project Managing Through All Stages of Development, which outlines the methodology behind the product and the vision of the company for the PV industry in detail, has been incorporated to the publication Sustainable Building for a Cleaner Environment, available on Springer.

PVStream hopes to contribute to the development and growth of the industry with its revolutionary all-in-one system. So far, it counts with the lead generation and proposal generation stages and with the electrical design stage to be unveiled at the end of October 2018 at Solar & Storage Live exhibition.

To experience PVStream in action, and witness the launch of the design stage, visit them at the Solar & Storage Live exhibition in Birmingham during 16-18 October (stand F32).

SolarPower Europe Expresses Gratitude to Vice-President Seb Berry and welcomes new Board members

By James Watson, CEO

Photo: (from left) Sotiris Kapellos (Greek Solar PV Association), Seb Berry ( Vice-President, SolarPower Europe), Christian Westermeier (President, SolarPower Europe), James Watson (CEO, SolarPower Europe), Veronika Galekova (Head of the Slovakian Solar PV association)

Vice-President Seb Berry has announced that he will stand down from his role in SolarPower Europe following his decision to move on from SolarCentury following a life-changing health event. Needless to say that we are all sorry to see him go and thank him profusely for his great support of the work of SolarPower Europe over the past five years. Indeed Dr Christian Westermeier gave a highly appreciative speech for Seb at the last Board meeting in September. Seb has been one of the most active members of the association in recent years, particularly supporting the advocacy work on the successful campaign to end the trade measures on solar modules and cells. We will all miss working with Seb, but wish him the very best in his new endeavours starting early next year. Jeremy Leggett will now represent SolarCentury in the Board and was warmly welcomed as a leading inspiration of the solar sector not just in Europe, but across the world.

The Board also approved the appointment of Simone Diodato Antonelli of Enel as a Director of the Board at the last Board meeting. He takes over from Georgios Papadimitriou who has moved to Enel Green Power’s US operations to lead their work. Simone was enthusiastically welcomed, given his high standing after four successful years as the Strategy Committee Chair. We are all looking forward to working closely with Simone again and are pleased to welcome him to the Board.

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