World’s first report on digitalisation and solar

Amsterdam, 4 October 2017 – Today, SolarPower Europe published the ‘Digitalisation & Solar’ report, thought to be the first in-depth analysis of digital technology in solar PV in the world.

Commenting on the report, Professor Bernd Engel, SolarPower Europe Digitalisation Task Force leader and representative of the SMA Solar Technology Board for grid integration stated: “Digitalisation is a major opportunity for solar, not least because it is a means of integrating more PV into the grid, gaining system-wide benefits and new revenues for solar installations.”

Sonia Dunlop, Policy Adviser at SolarPower Europe and lead author of the report, added: “The advent of new technologies such as big data analytics, the internet of things and blockchain allows for the emergence of entirely new solar business models. By embracing digitalisation we can reduce costs, improve performance and increase profitability.”

The report seeks to lay out how solar can make the most of the market opportunities arising from digitalisation such as smart solar homes, peer-to-peer electricity trading, digitalised manufacturing and high-tech O&M. It looks at new and improved business models, the
digitalisation of the entire value chain from manufacturing to operations and maintenance, and digital integration of the technology into the grid.

The report also contains a series of cutting edge case studies from Europe and beyond to illustrate the potential of digital in the solar sector, including:

  • SMA Solar Technology’s ennexOS energy management platform and Worker Information System
  • Tesla’s aggregation of Powerwalls and Powerpacks for a cleaner and more efficient grid SolarCoin’s use of blockchain technology to generate a record of and reward PV generation
  • Siemens’s neighbourhood solar microgrid on a blockchain platform in Brooklyn
  • Alectris’ ACTIS platform to optimise underperforming biaxial tracking plants
  • BayWa r.e.’s infrared inspections with drones for improved performance analysis
  • Alpiq’s Gridsense energy services offering combining PV, storage, heat and e-mobility

‘Digitalisation & Solar’ is a report of the SolarPower Europe Digitalisation & Solar Task Force
which was set up in December 2016 to assess the opportunity of digital technology for solar PV.

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