Supercharging the people's powerhouse

by Walburga Hemetsberger - 7 September 2023
Over the summer months, I had the joy of travelling around my home country, Austria, with my family. Despite being away from the SolarPower Europe hub in Brussels with our energised team, I continued to be inspired by seeing solar everywhere I went.

Europe is becoming a true solar powerhouse, and with other technologies at our side, we are creating that true powerhouse for the people.


Earlier this week we kicked off the new ‘school year’ by welcoming the Brussels community to our second annual Rooftop REconnect Networking Event. Thank you to all of you who were able to come along and make this an evening to remember, particularly our sponsors.


This year’s theme was ‘Supercharging the People’s Powerhouse’ and coincided with the launch of our new paper: Solar Powers Heat and EVs – Case Studies.


This paper outlines 10 stories from across Europe, of real homes, real families, who are experiencing the benefits of solar combined with heat pumps, batteries, and electric vehicles. Stories of Europeans who are not only saving money, but empowered with the ability to turn their back on fossil fuels and contribute to a positive future for our planet and society.


Feeling supercharged and inspired, I now look ahead to the coming months where both challenges and great opportunities await.


SolarPower Europe will be delivering for the sector on a number of areas. One of these areas is ensuring our grids are built for a solar-powered Europe. Europe is generating more solar energy than ever before, yet our grids risk wasting vital clean energy via curtailment, disincentivising investments, and ultimately halting deployment. 


In a recent joint letter with our solar association partners across Europe, we highlighted some key solutions for tackling the grids challenge, many of which have been echoed by Commissioner Simson in a recent Financial Times op-ed. In coming weeks, the Electricity Market Design revision will be negotiated between the EU institutions, and we’ll be working to maximise its provisions on grids and flexibility.


In addition to grid connecting our solar power, it is vital that we strengthen and diversify our supply chains with solar products made in Europe. The EU Net Zero Industry Act continues its development in EU bodies this Autumn, and so we’re continuing our efforts to deliver a balanced file that delivers real support for our manufacturers. Over summer EU countries have begun to look at their rulebooks on what they can do to support the building and running of new solar factories, and we will be monitoring that landscape closely. At EU level, we’ll be continuing our push for a dedicated EU Solar Bank, modelled on the recent Hydrogen Bank.


As we head into colder seasons, the SolarPower Europe team will keep the energy up with the support of our members, and make sure the solar voice is heard loud and clear.


We hope to see you at our upcoming events, most notably the virtual SolarWorks Fair in September, Renewable Hydrogen Summit and RE-Source in October, and Sustainable Solar Europe in December.

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