SolarPower Europe summer newsletter

Editorial: Towards the solar TW age – but higher speed is needed!

By Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence @sunnybloke

Photo: Baywa r.e.

2018 was a unique year for the entire global solar industry as we were able to exceed the magic installation mark of 100 GW per year for the first time. This led the solar power generation fleet to grow to over 500 GW or 0.5 TW. We were again seeing strong cost improvements, new applications unfolding, such as floating solar, corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements reaching a double-digit GW level, and a market for merchant solar starting to emerge in several markets.

2018 will also likely go down in history as the year solar took a short ‘break’ for the next growth phase. A total of 102.4 GW went on the grid around the world last year (Figure 1). That’s still 4% more than the 98.5 GW installed in 2017 but compares to two years with very high growth rates – around 30% in 2017 and 50% in 2016.

Despite its rather low, one-digit year-on-year growth, solar was again the power generation technology with the largest capacity additions globally in 2018. More solar was deployed than any other single technology. In fact, solar additions were more than twice as high as net additions for coal. Like in 2017, solar alone installed more capacity than all fossil fuels and nuclear together in 2018, although the lead was paper-thin: less than 1%.

Also on the plus side, solar’s power generation cost (LCOE) decreased by around 14% year-on-year in 2018, according to Lazard Capital, now enabling power prices in the 2 US cents per kWh range in many sunny places around the world, increasingly making our technology a cost leader today – and with costs continuing to decrease (Figure 2).

But low generation cost alone is not enough to facilitate growth; it also needs the right policy frameworks and energy market designs. The administration in China, the world’s largest solar market for several years, pulled the brake on its generous feed-in tariff incentive scheme in mid-2018 to make itself fit for the grid parity age, looking into tools to better steer growth and have generation closer to where demand is. At 44.4 GW, China’s market shrunk by 16% compared to its record 52.8 GW in 2017. China was responsible for nearly 55% of new installations in 2017; in 2018, its share went down to 44%.

While other leading solar markets also stagnated (US) or shrank (IndiaJapan) for various reasons, many new and emerging markets more than compensated for the weakness of the tier 1 group. In 2018, 11 countries installed more than 1 GW of solar; that’s two more compared to the nine GW-scale solar markets in 2017. Our Medium Scenario estimates that the number will significantly increase to 16 countries in 2019 (Figure 3).

Europe is one of the new solar growth regions. Driven by the European Union’s binding national 2020 targets, the continent added 11.3 GW in 2018; a 21% rise above the 9.3 GW installed the year before. This year, our Medium Scenario sees demand surge by over 80% to 20.4 GW, and for 2020, we see 18% growth to 24.1 GW, which would be a new installation record, surpassing the 22.5 GW Europe added in 2011.

While several emerging markets showed impressive growth in 2018, Australia was the solar shooting star of last year. The country and continent accelerated its stellar growth pace in 2018, adding 5.3 GW, up nearly 300% from 1.3 GW in 2017 – and this high demand is supposed to continue.

Double-digit growth ahead of next 3 years

In our Medium Scenario we anticipate around 128 GW of newly installed PV capacity in 2019, which would translate into a 25% market growth over the additions in 2018. Next to many other markets, we are also more upbeat about solar in the world’s largest solar market China. in 2019 than in last year’s GMO, anticipating a newly installed capacity of 43 GW. That’s because the Chinese administration seems to be restructuring faster than anticipated.

On a global level, we are optimistic about solar. For the Top 20 largest solar markets, we only see rather negative prospects for Turkey, primarily due to the financial downturn in the country. For the majority, the forecast is very sunny, with China, India and the US anticipated to carry the bulk of the growth in the next five years (Figure 4). Our Medium Scenario anticipates demand to rise by 12% to 144 GW in 2020, 10% to 158 GW in 2021, 7% to 169 GW in 2022, and 6% to 180 GW in 2023 (Figure 5).

Entering the TW age in 2022 – but faster growth needed to meet Paris Agreement targets

Like in previous years, the scenarios of the Global Market Outlook 2019 show higher growth than in last year’s edition of the GMO. In 2019, we estimate a cumulative installed capacity of 645 GW for the Medium Scenario, which is about 4% higher than in last year’s GMO. Our new 5-year global market outlook anticipates for our most likely Medium Scenario that global solar power generation plant capacities will reach 1,297 GW in 2023. Under optimal conditions, we estimate that the world could reach 1,610 GW by the end of 2023 and enter the terawatt production capacity level already in 2021. However, the year that will be more likely remembered for entering the solar terawatt age is 2022.

We have the solar TW age in sight, but we need to grow further and faster to tackle the climate crisis.

Together with wind, which again added only half of solar’s capacities, and the others in the clean energy team, net capacity additions from renewables basically stagnated in 2018. In this environment, solar – the most versatile and often lowest-cost power generation source  – contributed a little over 2% of the global electricity output (Figure 6). At the same time, global CO2 emissions did not decrease but rose by around 1.7% to another record high.

It is obvious that renewables have a key role to play in cutting global greenhouse gas emissions; it is simply the most efficient way. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an average of over 400 GW of renewables must be installed per year until 2050 to keep temperature rise below 2°C. However, last year saw additions of only around 180 GW of renewables.

What’s needed to put solar in the fast lane?

First: While it is a good sign that most analysts consider solar as the major pillar in their long-term power scenarios, this may be too late in regards to the climate urgency – solar, in concert with storage, wind and others, is ready to satisfy the need for much more renewable energy today. And this message needs to be conveyed to policymakers and the public! And this is possible as we’ve been seeing in recent weeks – the new head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has put climate protection high on the agenda of her upcoming term, proposing to reduce CO2 emissions by 50-55% by 2030, rather than the targeted 40%.

The main reason for last year’s low solar market growth was the sudden and unexpected double-digit contraction in the Chinese solar market. Despite causing some turmoil for the entire solar sector over the last months, this PV market restructuring effort has been necessary. The strong demand was mostly incentivised through inappropriately high feed-in tariffs, with the solar power plants mostly installed in very sunny but distant regions that require long-distance transmission lines that had not been fully available and led to unwanted high curtailment of power. The transition to a new market design that will be based on tenders and merchant solar backed by green certificates and financing schemes is exactly what’s needed to make the Chinese energy market fit for the next solar growth phase.

The European Union – where the solar market has been in a transition phase for many years – has just completed a legislative energy transition exercise. After successful lobbying by SolarPower Europe and others, the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package was passed, providing a framework with reliable governance and a modern market design that is aimed at enabling all stakeholders – from large corporates to active consumers at household level – to invest in renewables in the power, heat and transport sectors. The onus is now on member states to put these mostly solar-benefiting guidelines into action – and here renewable stakeholders are again needed to make sure this happens appropriately. 

Because again, for flexible solar technology and its peers to be able to grow as fast as possible, it is of the utmost importance that infrastructure and market design are working effectively, and this is often not yet the case. One example is tenders, a key dissemination tool for solar and wind in the post-feed-in tariff world. In India, the world’s third largest solar market, demand decreased in 2018 among others, because its tender scheme showed serious flaws. Distribution companies retroactively asked for retendering to get better prices or tendered volumes have been combined with requirements to set up local manufacturing, which has made the process very complicated. However, if tenders should play a role in areas with large penetration of renewables, we need intelligent tenders that make use of solar’s flexible nature to avoid extensive new power lines people often oppose. Moreover, tenders have to be open to combining various generation technologies and storage to offer different grid services.

There are still some barriers that need be cleared to free up the fast lane for solar, but that depends on policy frameworks. We have again become more optimistic in our Global Market Outlook 2019 compared to last year’s version. But again – those growth rates are not enough to stop the climate crisis. Today, solar is ready from a technology and cost side for a much steeper growth curve. Let’s make it happen!

Watch our Global Market Outlook webinar.

Solar Rooftop Party: A Night to Remember!

By Kristina Thoring, Communications Director @SolarPowerKris and Meghann Kissane, Communications Advisor @solarpowermeg

Photo: SolarPower Europe's Midsummer celebration of solar rooftop party at COOP Brussels.

On the 20th of June, SolarPower Europe held it’s annual Midsummer celebration, this time taking place on a rooftop in the middle of Brussels. Over 300 people attended the fully booked event which offered spectacular city views of the city. From electric tuk tuks to live musical performances to a photobooth and a stunning solar buildings photo exhibition, the event was one to remember!

Check out photos from the rooftop party here.

This year’s Midsummer celebration event marked the launch of our new #Solar4Buildings campaign. The aim of the campaign is for solar installed on all new and renovated buildings – from residential to commercial to industrial buildings – to be introduced into EU legislation.

Diverse stakeholders from policymakers to associations, institutes and corporations have already embraced the #Solar4Buildings campaign. Everyone can get involved in the campaign by spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #Solar4Buildings, using the campaign toolkit on SolarPower Europe’s website or by signing the petition which will be presented to the EU institutions in November 2019. Over 1,000 people have already signed the petition, so make sure you join our campaign solar on new and renovated buildings!

Related articles:

How ‘solar skins’ can decarbonise Europe’s cities and create new jobs

Put solar on all new and renovated buildings in the EU to help fight climate change!

In photos:

Interview: Enel Green Power

By Kristina Thoring, Communications Director @SolarPowerKris and Meghann Kissane, Communications Advisor @solarpowermeg

Photo: Enel Green Power

“Solar is one of the technologies that will represent the backbone of the energy transition.”

We talked with Simone Diodato Antonelli, Head Of Regulatory Affairs Central and Eastern Europe at Enel Green Power and board member of SolarPower Europe about the new HJT module production line at their 3SUN factory in Catania, a future industrial strategy and how solar can accelerate electric mobility in Europe!

Enel Green Power’s 3SUN Factory project in Catania, Italy was founded in 2010 and is one of the largest solar PV production plants in Europe. What developments are in the pipeline for the 3SUN factory?

With the 3SUN 2.0 conversion project, Enel intends to create double-sided modules (i.e. capable of absorbing direct solar radiation from the upper surface, both reflected and diffused radiation from the rear) with the innovative “heterojunction” (HJT) technology that uses amorphous silicon layers and crystalline silicon.

Thanks to the combination of double-sided and heterojunction technology, our modules can achieve efficiencies of over 20% and greater energy production – from 10% to over 25% – compared to standard photovoltaic modules.

The reconversion project leverages the industrial and technological know-how gained by 3SUN over recent years, during which it produced about 7 million photovoltaic modules with thin film technology. This competence has allowed to define a roadmap of technological development that will reach a cell efficiency of over 28% in a few years, enabling us to remain at the forefront of photovoltaic technology.

The new HJT module production lines will start production shortly and are expected to reach their full production capacity of more than 200 MWp per year by the end of 2019. The factory is fully automated using industry 4.0 advanced digitalisation criteria.

Enel Green Power is an active member of SolarPower Europe’s Industrial Competitiveness Task Force and attended the European Commission’s Clean Energy Industrial Forum held in Brussels in March. In your view, why is an industrial strategy for solar in Europe important?

Solar is one of the technologies that will represent the backbone of the energy transition. An industrial strategy, aimed at developing high-quality solar technology in Europe and making our companies leading innovators at home and abroad, will bring great benefits to Europe in terms of countless business opportunities and jobs.

Europe is currently harvesting the benefits of the unique R&D&I ecosystem to obtain global innovation leadership. The critical aspect is to streamline the necessary support from conceptualisation to industrial production, ensuring the market uptake of the most innovative technologies.

The Enel “3SUN factory” in Catania (Sicily), which is one of the largest and most innovative photovoltaic production plants in Europe, was also realised thanks to EU funding (both via Horizon 2020 and Structural Funds). But I must say that obtaining the EU support wasn’t a smooth process. The access requirements aren’t really tailored to meet business realities…

We need to change this as soon as possible. Political decision-makers need to help create a friendly business environment for industrial investments, supporting the political and economic conditions that facilitate and foster the development of an innovative and sustainable renewable value chain.

The European electricity system will need to integrate increasing shares of variable and distributed renewables during next years. What is the role of electric mobility to foster and facilitate this process?

Electromobility will be a key driver for a fast and cost-efficient decarbonisation of the transport sector, as well as to reduce local pollution, noise and import dependency.

The SolarPower Europe electrification report, that will be published soon, shows that with a well-designed policy framework, the additional electricity demand resulting from the deployment of electric vehicles will be mainly met by variable renewable power capacity, especially solar. This is because, in recent years, solar has become the most cost-competitive source of electricity and also because its generation curve perfectly matches the load curve of electric vehicles charging in commercial or office buildings and in public charging stations, or of electric trams or trains operating during the day.

Combined with solar and smart charging technologies, electromobility has the potential to provide substantial support to grid stability, by optimising the rate of self-consumption, reducing grid congestion and offering fast and distributed flexibilities to the energy system.

Solar Skins: why BIPV is the future of buildings

By Mariano Guillén, Policy Advisor @MarianoJGuillen

Photo: SolarPower Europe held a session on BIPV at EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) in Brussels. Photographer: Vivian Hertz

Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) are an aesthetically pleasing, cost-efficient and multifunctional approach to new building stock and retrofits. BIPV will be the future of our cities: the uptake of ‘Solar Skins’ technology will accelerate the decarbonisation of Europe’s building stock.

BIPV modules as a construction element may be combined with insulation and other elements to improve the energy efficiency of a building. Its modular nature means that solar can be adapted to almost any urban environment. From roofs, to façades, to windows, to sound barriers, these innovative products promise to become the construction product of the future. In addition, an increased share of BIPV in the building stock would create more jobs in the solar construction and installation industries and contribute significantly to a reduced ecological footprint, improving the quality of life and attractiveness of European cities overall.

SolarPower Europe together with ETIP PV launched the ‘Solar Skins: An opportunity for greener cities’ report on 18th June during the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2019. High-level speakers such as Paula Abreu Marques, Head of Unit for “Renewables and CCS policy” in the European Commission, DG ENER, Eric Scotto, CEO of Akuo Energy and Alfonso Ponce-Alvarez, Associate Partner of Norman Fosters’ Foster+Partners. The panel was moderated by Philippa Nuttall Jones, Editor-in-Chief of FORESIGHT.

The report demonstrates how local authorities can benefit from BIPV technologies to decarbonise their building stock and how an increased uptake of BIPV could propel a promising European-based industry, delivering local and highly skilled jobs in the energy and construction sector. The report was developed by SolarPower Europe’s BIPV Task Force, which forges partnerships with European institutions, cities, architects and the construction and building sectors to highlight the benefits of BIPV, current gaps and the need for strengthened initiatives for BIPV.

SolarPower Europe and National Solar Associations meet EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete

By Naomi Chevillard, Policy Advisor @SolarPowerN 

Photo: Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete with SolarPower Europe and national solar energy association representatives

SolarPower Europe and its national solar energy association members met with Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete on 29th May to share their recommendations on the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). At the meeting, SolarPower Europe and the national solar energy representatives  presented their four key recommendations:

  1. Clear targets for solar to give visibility to investors: they should be based on a sound assessment of solar potential and achieve the right balance between centralised and decentralised solar.
  2. Clear and proportionate regulatory frameworks that provide incentives and visibility to investors (through auction schedules, for example) and that tackle the administrative barriers to solar projects.
  3. Enabling frameworks for the next generation of solar business models, such as Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) or self-consumption, that assess and remove the hindering regulations.
  4. A plan for the modernisation of the grid, that assesses the challenges to grid integration of solar and that puts forward measures to improve grid planning and supports the development of system flexibility resources.

NECPs fulfilling these principles will be crucial to realise solar’s full potential in Europe. Following a discussion with the national solar associations, Commissioner Cañete encouraged national stakeholders to take an active part in national consultations and discussions taking place on the NECPs.

The meeting also offered an opportunity to discuss industrial policy which is seen as a priority for the next European Commission. In March 2019, the European Council called on the European Commission to make its long-term vision for the industrial future of the EU available by the end of the year, and clean technologies, including solar, must be a part of it. Walburga Hemetsberger. CEO of SolarPower Europe, presented the association’s industrial strategy to the Commission and shared the industry’s recommendations to see EU take global leadership on the existing and next generation of solar technologies, manufacturing and services.

During the Energy Council held on the 25th of June, the European Commission presented its assessment of the draft National Energy and Climate Plans published in the beginning of the year. The outgoing Commission is also laying the foundations for the future of European energy and industrial policy that will be an important topic during the next Commission mandate.

Introduced by the Governance Regulation in the EU’s ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package, the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) must detail the contribution of each member state to the EU32% renewable target and detail national ambition for the development of solar by 2022, 2025, 2027 and 2030. Based on a common template, they oblige member states to undertake a joint energy planning exercise and will provide clarity on future national energy policies: support measures for solar and specific frameworks for individual and collective renewable self-consumption and corporate Power Purchase Agreements.

All eyes will now look to the end of 2019, which should bring two important pieces of news for solar: the final NECPs setting the scene for the next decade of solar deployment and the long-term industrial strategy of the Commission. Until then, SolarPower Europe continues to work closely with the European institutions to support a solar-powered future.

Related articles:

National Energy and Climate Plans: Reaching Europe’s 2030 climate and energy goals

Solar will contribute massively to EU 2050 climate strategy

SolarPower Europe unveils supply-side industrial strategy for solar at Clean Energy Industrial Forum

New market reports on solar opportunities in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Myanmar

By Máté Heisz, Senior Advisor and Project Manager for International Cooperation @mateheisz

Photo: Stefano Mantellassi (Eni), Alden Lee (ABO Wind) and Damien Ricordeau (Finergreen) at the launch of the market reports.

SolarPower Europe’s Emerging Markets Task Force, led by Eni, launched three new reports exploring solar opportunities in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Myanmar. The new reports were authored by Emerging Markets Task Force members Finergreen and ABO Wind.

Senegal is leading the solar PV sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 120 MW installed capacity. As the grid is strengthening and access to electricity remains low, it creates a good opportunity for solar home systems and mini-grids. We can anticipate that the country will embrace new solar PV opportunities.

Ivory Coast has ambitious plans to develop 400 MW of solar by 2030 and shows strong potential for the development of solar energy, especially in the northern part of the country. Additional solar PV contracts should be awarded on a competitive basis over the next couple of years.

Myanmar has an incredible potential for solar energy. Rising electricity demand, rapid demographic growth and strong neighbouring solar countries like China, India, and Thailand give Myanmar great opportunities to increase the installed solar capacity.

The Emerging Markets Task Force collaborates with the European Commission, GET.Invest and IRENA and will continue to foster business-to-business cooperation and engagement with local governments to fully untap the potential of solar globally.

To learn more about the Emerging Markets Task Force, contact Máté Heisz.

Related articles:

Strong global solar market outlook

SolarPower Europe’s 4th High-Level Industry Forum: time for industrial strategy

By Kristina Thoring, Communications Director @SolarPowerKris

Leading solar industry executives gathered at SolarPower Europe’s 4th High-Level Industry Forum held at Intersolar Europe on 16th  May. Paula Abreu-Marques, Head of Unit for “Renewables and CCS policy” in the European Commission, DG Energy delivered the keynote speech.

Top executives from Enel Green Power, Meyer Burger, Belectric Solar & Battery GmbH, Sonnen eServices, SMA Solar Technology AG and Akuo Industry took part in the panel discussions that focused on delivering an industrial strategy for the European solar industry.

Giovanni Tula, CIO, Enel Green Power said that an industrial strategy for solar aimed at developing innovative renewable technology in Europe is a vital strategic goal for a successful European industrial strategy. Tula gave a reference to Enel Green Power’s 3Sun factory in Catania (Sicily), as one of the largest and most innovative photovoltaic production plants in Europe aiming at producing a total of about 500,000 panels a year using ground-breaking HJT technology.  Tula said this project demonstrated that PV industry in Europe may have the potential to compete with mainstream technology at global level, provided that institutions are able to ensure the necessary support and the right business environment.

Hans Brändle, CEO of Meyer Burger said that with Europe still having excellent stakeholders in the solar research & technology field and the European market finally entering a new growth phase, now is a huge opportunity for European policymakers to create an appropriate solar industrial strategy that enables the sector to develop a meaningful, robust and competitive European solar production industry.

Jürgen Reinert, CEO of SMA Solar Technology AG stated that with an industrial strategy for solar, the EU can take global leadership on the existing and next generation of solar technologies and that SMA, as a leading European specialist in photovoltaic system technology, supports an industrial policy for solar that can facilitate a strong and competitive European solar industry.

If you are interested in learning more about SolarPower Europe’s Industrial Competitiveness Task Force, please contact Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe.

In photos:

RE-Source roadshow well underway!

By Meghann Kissane, Communications Advisor @solarpowermeg

Photo: RE-Source 2018 took place at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam on 20th-21st November.

Corporates are playing a catalytic role in the deployment of corporate sourcing of renewable energy and an increasing amount of companies are procuring or aiming to procure 100% renewable energy. In Europe, 16 GW of new renewable energy sources have been contracted over the past five years. Corporate sourcing has become a major business opportunity, boosting the economic competitiveness of corporates and reducing their carbon footprint.

Europe’s leading annual corporate energy procurement event, RE-Source 2019, will take place at Hotel Okura, in Amsterdam this year from the 2nd to the 3rd of October. The event will bring together all major players in the PPA industry, from buyers to sellers to policymakers and beyond to learn, network and do business.

In addition, this year, the RE-Source Platform is supporting and taking part in a series of events across Europe complementing the annual flagship event in October. The RE-Source roadshow has already brought the discussion on corporate sourcing to many cities across Europe and will continue until November:

  • Milan, Italy – 7th June
  • Warsaw, Poland – 12th June
  • Barcelona, Spain – 18th June
  • Brussels, Belgium – 20th June
  • London, UK – 8th July
  • Malmö, Sweden – 3rd-4th September
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 2nd-3rd October
  • Paris, France – 20th November

In photos:

View the RE-Source 2019 event agenda here.

Register to RE-Source 2019 here.

Related articles:

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

SolarPower Europe and Association of Renewable Energy of Kazakhstan (AREK) signs cooperation agreement

By Máté Heisz, Senior Advisor and Project Manager for International Cooperation @mateheisz

Photo: Solar plant in Kazakhstan. Association of Renewable Energy of Kazakhstan.

SolarPower Europe and the Association of Renewable Energy of Kazakhstan (AREK) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the 7th of June 2019 to exchange knowledge, best practices and create business opportunities for solar companies in the European and Kazakhstani solar markets.

In 2018, Kazakhstan saw a steady increase in solar power generation, with 150 MW annually installed that year – a threefold growth of total installed capacity. The country has set national goals to reach 3% of renewable energy by 2020, 10% by 2030, and 50% by 2050 and solar can play a major role in achieving these targets.

SolarPower Europe’s Emerging Markets Task Force and AREK are planning to jointly develop a solar market report on Kazakhstan, to be published in September 2019 in Nur-Sultan.

To be part of this initiative and learn more about the Emerging Markets Task Force, contact Máté Heisz.

Related article:

SolarPower Europe Launches New Innovative Business Models for Operations & Maintenance

Best moments at Intersolar Europe - in photos!

By Meghann Kissane, Communications Advisor @solarpowermeg

SolarPower Europe travelled from Brussels to Munich in a Tesla – making several stops along the way to document the energy transition – here are SolarPower Europe team members with Markus Elsässer, in charge of Intersolar, outside Messe München.
SolarPower Europe held its 4th High-Level Industry Forum at Intersolar. Leading solar industry executives from Enel Green Power, Meyer Burger, Belectric Solar & Battery GmbH, Sonnen eServices, SMA Solar Technology AG and Akuo Industry took part in the panel discussion – urging the adoption of an industrial strategy for solar in Europe.
SolarPower Europe with its members – one of the best things about Intersolar is catching up with our members!
Paula Abreu Marques, Head of Unit for “Renewables and CCS policy” in the European Commission, DG Energy visits SolarPower Europe's booth. From left, Aurelie Beauvais, Policy Director, Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe, Bruce Douglas, Deputy CEO of SolarPower Europe.
SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger gaveives the opening speech at Intersolar outlining how strong, flexible teamwork is essential for a 24/7 renewable energy system.
Global Solar Association meeting at Intersolar Europe - associations from across the world working together for a solar-powered future!
SolarPower Europe together with co-hosted Intersolar Europe’s first Women's Networking Lunch.
And finally, SolarPower Europe's infamous booth party at Intersolar– this year the theme was the European elections.

SolarPower Europe signs renewAfrica Declaration of Intent

By Máté Heisz, Senior Advisor and Project Manager for International Cooperation @mateheisz

Photo: Máté Heisz (SolarPower Europe) signing the renewAfrica Declaration of Intent on the 4th of June 2019 in Rome.

Máté Heisz, Senior Advisor for International Cooperation, signed the renewAfrica Declaration of Intent on behalf of SolarPower Europe on the 4th of June 2019 in Rome. The renewAfrica initiative, initiated by RES4Med&Africa, will stimulate the creation of a one-stop-shop innovative EU renewable energy support program covering all investment phases, all renewable energy technologies and addressing all major risks at once. Its goal is to accelerate Africa’s sustainable energy transition. The initiative brings together leaders from the financial, industrial, institutional and development sectors to join forces and actively promote its objectives, whose commitment is reflected in the signature of a non-binding Declaration of Intent, signed by more than 20 actors.

For more information about the renewAfrica initiative, visit the dedicated page.

SolarPower Europe’s Emerging Markets Task Force will be actively involved in the renewAfrica multi-stakeholder consultation leading up to the creation of the envisaged one-stop-shop innovative EU renewable energy support program. To be part of this and learn more about the Emerging Markets Task Force, contact Máté Heisz.

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High-level delegation from India visits SolarPower Europe

By Meghann Kissane, Communications Advisor @solarpowermeg

On the 11th of June, a delegation from India visited SolarPower Europe’s offices in Brussels for a meeting organised as part of a cooperation between SolarPower Europe’s Emerging Markets Task Force and the European Commission. The delegation, comprised of high-level representatives of national and state energy administrations, was on a study tour of solar parks in the EU. The study tour was organised by the European Commission, which SolarPower Europe cooperates on closely to promote the energy transition in markets outside Europe.

The main topics of discussion were Operation & Maintenance (O&M) and asset performance, recycling of end-of-life solar panels and components, the synergies between solar & storage, as well as an overview of the solar sector in Europe, the opportunities and challenges ahead and the outlook towards 2030 and beyond. The meeting was also attended by SolarPower Europe members 3E, ABB and Alectris, as well as EASE, who had the opportunity to present their activities and best practices in India. The delegation also presented updates on general policy and highlights from various Indian states.

The presentations were followed by a lively discussion between the members of the delegation and SolarPower Europe on market information and cooperation opportunities.

This meeting fits into SolarPower Europe’s engagement in India, the South Asian country being one of SolarPower Europe’s focus markets. In March 2019, SolarPower Europe signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) to establish a lasting partnership to promote solar power in India and Europe. As part of this partnership, both associations are working on quality issues related to installation and O&M of solar power plants.

Open Solar Contracts launched at Africa Energy Forum 2019

By Meghann Kissane, Communications Advisor @solarpowermeg

Photo: Shutterstock

On the 13th of June 2019, at the Africa Energy Forum 2019 (aef2019) during a session organised by SolarPower Europe and co-hosted by IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) and Terrawatt Initiative, the Open Solar Contracts were launched. This initiative aims at designing and drafting a comprehensive set of contractual documentation to reduce development time and transaction costs that can weigh heavily on the competitiveness of solar energy.

The initiative was launched three years ago to offer the market a top-class suite of contractual templates for on-grid solar PV generation assets under a free Creative Commons license. The Open

Solar Contracts can change the lives of millions by reducing transaction costs and streamlining the deployment of new generation capabilities where they are most needed, in particular in Africa.

The Open Solar Contracts initiative will deliver a robust portfolio of open-source, freely available standardised template agreements and guidelines covering the entire solar project development chain, including template agreements for supply, financing, power purchase, implementation, fit & commissioning and O&M. To carry this project, IRENA and the Terrawatt Initiative collaborated with more than 30 leading development banks, law firms and industry associations.

Photo of the month

By Kristina Thoring, Communications Director @SolarPowerKris

Photo: © Thomas Faull

Summer is here! Here are beach huts with solar panels at Hengistbury Head in Bournemouth and Christchurch Harbour, UK. Enjoy your summer!


36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition

EU PVSEC is the world’s leading conference and main exhibition for photovoltaics. It encompasses every facet of PV research, technologies and applications covering the entire value chain as well as facilitating those essential business contacts.

As the leading global platform, it connects, inspires and puts ideas into practice – for Today and Tomorrow. EU PVSEC 2019 is the place where photovoltaic research and solar energy come to life.

EU PVSEC 2019:

  • Over 950 visual, oral and plenary presentations as part of the conference programme, workshops and parallel events
  • Unrivalled quality of the conference programme coordinated by the European Commission Joint Research Centre
  • An exclusive business platform to establish new partnerships geared towards all areas of the industry

Get your ticket for this must-attend event in the solar sector here:

VI Solar Forum to focus on the role of PV as key element of the new energy model

22-23 October, Madrid

The 6th edition of the Solar Forum, the key event of the Spanish solar industry organised by Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF), will be held later this year, on October 22nd and 23rd in Madrid. This year’s theme will be “PV as the main element of the energy model”. Registration is open.

Last year, the event gathered 600+ attendees, becoming the must-attend conference for the Spanish PV industry, where professionals gather to share best practice and explore business opportunities.

This year 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 reactivated Spanish market, the new framework of opportunities opened by the Spanish National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), the growing popularity of PPAs 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.

We look forward to welcoming you at the VI Solar Forum.

For more information, please visit or contact 

The Smarter E India – 3 exhibitions in one place

27th to the 29th of November, Bangalore

The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.

Be Part of India’s Bright Solar Future

As an important meeting ground for professionals along the entire value chain in the vital growth industries solar energy storage and electric mobility The smarter E India exhibition and conference is the perfect place to drum up business. Give your brand exposure at The Smarter E India and showcase your innovative products to 10 000 energy professionals Explore Karnataka as the most profitable and promising market in India! You concentrate on your business, while we facilitate the rest!

Special European Pavilion Offer

A specially designed Pavilion booth and marketing package allows your company an easy and cost-effective participation. Be in the center of solar, energy storage and e-mobility innovations and build your network in India without organisational effort. Expect many special marketing activities for the Pavilion by the organizer to draw attention to your booth.

Learn more

Registration for Intersolar South America is open!

The Intersolar South America Conference 2019 again will bring you top-notch speakers sharing their expertise. From exclusive market insights to the latest trends and groundbreaking technologies of the future, the expert speakers at the Intersolar South America Conference explain the energy world of tomorrow and relevant topics affecting the new energy world. Additionally, the one day Eletrotec Conference will focus on electrical installations. Early Bird rates are available until the end of June.

This year, the exhibition program of The smarter E South America will offer various presentations by exhibitors and partners at the Innovation & Application Stage, as well as workshops ranging from hands-on training for installers, introductions to electrical energy storage, market presentations and networking opportunities. Please note that the exhibition pass is free of charge only until August 26, 2019 – so do not miss to register in time.


Intersolar + Eletrotec Conference
Our objective is to increase the share of solar power in the global energy supply. Intersolar conferences provide the solar and energy industries with platforms for sharing information and strategies.

Innovation & Application Stage
This stage is a central platform where visitors come to see innovations, solar industry trends, as well as workshops and educational trainings presented by The smarter E South Americas exhibitors and partners.

The smarter E South America is offering a number of engaging workshops. Learn from experienced presenters and see instructive best practices and case studies. Gain an edge on competition, and leave with valuable insights or hands-on knowledge from one of the technical trainings.
We look forward to seeing you in São Paulo in August!

As a member of SolarPower Europe, you can get a 10% discount on a full conference ticket by registering here with the code TSESA19SU10P

GET.invest Market Insight packages now online

The new GET.invest Market Insight packages cover the following market segments and countries:

The Market Insight packages provide condensed, practicable step-by-step manuals on how to do business in market segments and countries, with an emphasis on navigating the policy and regulatory procedures applicable to the business models in different market segments.  

To this end, each package includes a ‘how to’ developer guide, model business cases and case studies. Ultimately, readers should be able to deduce their own assessment of opportunities for investment and project development in the countries. The GET.invest Market Insight packages are one of the services we offer to actors in developing markets to stimulate project development and investment in renewable energy. See this article for more information.  

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