Industrial Strategy

Solar

Golden opportunity for European solar industrial leadership

Europe needs an overarching strategy for the solar power sector. European solar stakeholders from across the entire value chain – such as researchers, production equipment suppliers, raw and processing materials companies, inverter manufacturers – are world-leaders in their respective fields, and an industrial strategy will ensure that Europe maintains its solar leadership into the future.

The first official communication on Industrial Strategy within the European Green Deal policy framework is due to be released in March 2020, which will clarify the EU’s long-term vision of European manufacturing and innovation.

SolarPower Europe has coordinated a joint letter that calls for the Commission to put in place a comprehensive industrial strategy for solar, which would recognise the European solar industry as a Strategic Value Chain, opening up new opportunities for solar, such as the Strategic Forum on IPCEIs.
 
Current signees include the European Association of Research Institutes (EUREC), Fraunhofer ISE and 17 national solar associations, and 10 other major European research institutes urging the adoption of an industrial strategy for solar in Europe.

Why we support an industrial strategy for solar

“An industrial strategy for solar aimed at developing innovative renewable technology in Europe is a vital strategic goal for a successful European industrial strategy. Enel has built the 3Sun factory in Catania (Sicily), which is 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. This project demonstrates 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”
Giovanni Tula
CIO, Enel Green Power
“Because of its importance Solar PV must also be viewed from a geostrategical perspective. It is impressive how China’s government has fully understood solar’s potential as the world’s future dominant power source and has become a global leader both on the demand as well as on the supply side. With Europe still having excellent stakeholders in the solar research & technology field and the European market finally entering a new growth phase, it 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.."
Hans Brändle
CEO, Meyer Burger
“It is clear that solar PV is a key technology for the energy transition, which, alongside other sources of carbon-free electricity, can help deliver the European Green Deal. Europe is home to world-class research institutes that specialise in solar PV, which have developed innovative technologies and solar applications that lead the global market. A European industrial strategy is key to maintaining European solar leadership, and ensuring European institutes and companies remain at the forefront of solar PV design and manufacturing."
Roch Drozdowski-Strehl
CEO, IPVF
“With an industrial strategy for solar, the EU can take global leadership on the existing and next generation of solar technologies. 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 for generations to come.”
Jürgen Reinert
CEO of SMA Solar Technology AG
"The renewable energy market is thriving and SMEs are getting engaged at local and regional level as energy service providers. Small-scale installations should be part of the energy transition and will help enhance the overall environmental performance."
Dr Andreas Bett
Director of Fraunhofer ISE
“Solar PV energy generation is one of the most cost-effective sources of electricity in Europe and in many parts of the world, and in the near future it will be the largest power generation source. As a clean and scalable technology, it is in a perfect position to deliver the European Green Deal. In fact, Europe has a long history when it comes to solar, as it was European research institutes and developers that led the world in solar innovation. To safeguard Europe’s security of energy supply and ensure energy self-sufficiency, we need to strengthen the industrial capacity of European solar manufacturers. An industrial strategy for solar is thus of critical strategic importance for a green Europe.”
Dr Jutta Trube
Jutta Trube, Vice Managing Director Electronics, Micro and New Energy Production Technologies & Division Manager Photovoltaic Equipment , VDMA

SolarPower Europe's industrial strategy objectives
and 2030 vision

1. Jobs and general value added (GVA) should be dramatically increased in the solar sector by 2030: Europe should target 300,000 solar jobs by 2030 compared to 81,000 Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) in 2016.

2. The EU should boost EU domestic demand for solar so at least 20% of Europe’s electricity demand is powered by solar energy by 2030. It will drive the competitiveness of the EU PV supply chain, and therefore job creation and value creation in Europe:

• Set ambitious targets for the deployment of rooftop installations in Europe, to reach at least 30 million solar roofs by 2030.
• Accelerate the deployment of utility-scale solar in Europe.
• Boost the market uptake of innovative solar technologies developed in Europe such as Building-Integrated PV and floating solar.
• Explore the contribution of solar energy beyond the power sector, through solar-based sector coupling.

3. To secure a globally competitive PV supply chain in Europe, policymakers should provide an attractive business environment, and develop top runner investment programs for large-scale manufacturing facilities in cutting-edge solar technologies.

4. The European Union should reopen negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement and work with international partners to eliminate trade barriers on green goods and support European solar companies in accessing new markets.

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