Our
Priorities

Solar power has seen formidable growth over the past years and is now a mainstream energy source in Europe.

We are entering a new solar era, where digitalisation, mobility, storage, prosumers are key themes. These are huge new opportunities for solar, but legislative challenges remain to make sure we can take full advantage of the opportunities that lies ahead.

We work with diverse stakeholders and partners from different sectors, experts and policy-makers. Our Task Forces focus on concrete objectives and activities to take solar to the next level in Europe and globally.

SolarPower Europe works on key policy and business priorities – to deliver the best possible outcomes for solar in Europe

01.

Clean Energy Package

The European Commission’s Clean Energy Package aims to provide a framework for the EU energy sector to accelerate the clean energy transition in Europe. It is intended to maximise EU leadership in the energy transition, by placing the consumers at the heart of EU’s energy strategy. The Clean Energy Package is the most important piece of legislation for the solar sector, with huge ramifications for our technology’s growth. 

02.

International Trade

While solar power is experiencing dramatic growth, the emergence of a new era of trade disputes has resulted in solar being bedeviled by trade measures that no other clean energy technologies have seen. Anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imported solar panels and cells from China, ‘Minimum Import Price’ (MIP), a set price and an annual quota on Chinese solar products have been measures taken by Europe in the dispute which has now passed its fifth year and is the largest trade case, that the EU is currently prosecuting against China. In 2015, SolarPower Europe called for the removal of the trade measures to boost the solar sector in Europe.

03.

Emerging Markets

Solar is booming globally with huge market potential in developing regions, such as Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Many emerging markets are outpacing developed markets in terms of solar scale-up, while others still lack capital and infrastructure for large-scale deployment. Today, there are several public and industry-led initiatives and financing tools aimed at accelerating the development of solar in emerging countries. SolarPower Europe works to reduce barriers to solar deployment by addressing the key regulatory, administrative and bankability challenged in emerging solar markets.

04.

Corporate Sourcing

Corporate sourcing of solar and renewables is a growing phenomenon. In 2017 more than 1 GW of corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) were signed in Europe. Globally, more than 100 corporations have committed to procure 100% renewable electricity to power their operations, together accounting for 150 TWh of yearly consumption. Several deals have been signed in Europe in recent years, providing major corporate buyers with reliable and competitively-priced power, and the potential for more is huge. SolarPower Europe has co-founded the RE-Source Platform , a European alliance of stakeholders representing clean energy buyers and suppliers for corporate renewable energy sourcing.

05.

Digitalisation

The digital revolution will change the way solar businesses operate from the inside, offering a new vision on how smart solar solutions can help increase the profitability of traditional power plants, and contribute to a more efficient and sustainable energy system. It will even impact our own industrial processes, paving the way towards a Solar Industry 4.0. What will this new solar space look like and what are the opportunities and barriers for solar that arise from the digitalisation of the energy ecosystem? 

SolarPower Europe works to ensure that the solar sector in Europe makes the most of the opportunities arising from the digitalisation of the energy system.

06.

Solar and Storage

Solar and storage make the perfect pair. Storage extends solar’s power beyond the time the sun is in the sky, allowing energy producers to use solar 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, no matter if the sun is shining or not. This opens up a whole new world of opportunities for solar, allowing solar technologies to be used to their full potential. Self-consumption will be the driver for solar demand in the European Union, small-scale electric storage solutions will have a crucial role in expanding onsite consumption. At the same time, utility-scale battery storage will be increasingly used in providing additional services for stabilizing the grid when using large amounts of flexible solar power. SolarPower Europe works to enable the right policy and regulatory framework for solar and storage, to make them core of the new energy system. 

07.

Industrial Strategy

Europe has many world-leading expert stakeholders, including researchers, production equipment suppliers, raw and processing materials companies, and inverter manufacturers. To make sure that Europe continues to lead in solar energy, an over-arching strategy for the solar sector is needed. SolarPower Europe is pioneering an industrial competitiveness strategy for the sector in Europe, through intensive engagement, and the “Clean Energy Industrial Forum” with a dedicated “Renewable” branch. This represents a major achievement for SolarPower Europe and a real opportunity for an industrial policy to be developed for solar in Europe.

 

08.

Environmental Footprint

Environmental Footprint has become increasingly important for the envisioned single market for green products in Europe and globally. Today, electricity is being benchmarked and labelled with a multitude of criteria (Carbon Footprint, Green Sourcing etc.). Moreover, Environmental Footprint has become part of the tender criteria for renewable energy in some countries and will most likely become more relevant in the electricity markets of the future. In the framework of the Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019, the European Commission is currently exploring the possibility of applying policy instruments such as Ecodesign, Energy Labelling and Ecolabel to solar modules, inverters and systems. SolarPower Europe’s Environmental Footprint task force organises and participates in several sustainability-related initiatives.

09.

Operations and Maintenance

Europe is the continent with one of the largest and oldest fleet of solar plants, we need proper care for these assets to meet performance expectations. Operations and Maintenance (O&M) is key to the technical and economic performance of solar systems and plants. SolarPower Europe together with its members, has therefore taken the initiative to develop Best Practices Guidelines for the European solar sector and contribute to the improvement of the quality and standardisation of Operations & Maintenance.

10.

Building Integrated Solar

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) is the technology that integrates solar elements into buildings to generate electricity. Europe is a world leader in BIPV, with more than 200 products on the market. The annual cumulated European installed capacity of BIPV is expected to surpass 11 GW by 2020, and further development of the sector is closely linked to the evolution of the regulatory framework. SolarPower Europe works to promote  the development of BIPV technologies, advocating for an ambitious vision for the decarbonisation of the building stock while pushing the interests of the European BIPV industry. 

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