On 23rd October, as part of the Electrification Alliance, SolarPower Europe held the launch event of our Electrification manifesto, which we unveiled to EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson. The Alliance is composed of 10 associations who are advocating for an efficient and decarbonised Europe powered by clean electricity. During the event, we also presented Commissioner Simson with the ‘2023 European Electrification Award,’ for her unwavering commitment to the electrification of Europe!
Before the event, the Electrification Alliance had the opportunity to take a tour of the production line of Audi’s Brussels factory. We saw the body shop, paint shop, and the final assembly area. The factory has 107,000 m² of rooftop solar. It is the largest PV system in the Brussels region, and generates roughly 3,000 MWh of electricity annually. That’s the equivalent of the electricity needs of 760 households for an entire year!
Afterwards, CEOs and Secretary-Generals from the Electrification Alliance held a closed-door roundtable with European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson.
Annick Hernot, Secretary General at Audi Brussels kicked off our launch event in Audi Brussels’ showroom. Since 2018, only 100% electric cars are being manufactured at the certified CO₂-neutral plant.
The Electrification Alliance proceeded to unveil our new ‘Electrification Manifesto,’ urging the European Commission to fast-track the electrification of Europe. The Manifesto calls for a dedicated Electrification Action Plan in the first 100 days of the incoming European Commission’s mandate. We need to have a dedicated Electrification Action Plan in order to reach an electrification target of 35% by 2030. This plan should also ensure that electrification becomes an integral element of Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans.
The Manifesto calls on the incoming Commission to ramp up investments in electricity grids. Other concrete policy actions in the Manifesto include programmes to attract skilled workers; the prioritisation of direct, smart electrification in the EU’s funding and financing programmes; and supporting a rapid uptake of electrified end-user applications, like electric cars and trucks in transport and heat pumps in heating
At the launch event, Commissioner Simson was also named the winner of the ‘2023 European Electrification Award’. The Commissioner was recognised for her unwavering commitment to advancing the EU Green Deal and promoting the direct, smart electrification of Europe’s energy system.
After receiving the award, Commission Simson said; “Electrification will play a crucial role in the next decades to deliver an efficient, secure, decarbonised, and integrated energy system. Electricity will become our main energy carrier by 2040, and we need to ensure that both the market conditions and infrastructure, will push the transition forward. I look forward to continuing our good cooperation with the power sector to build a strong EU-market where electricity is always produced in the cheapest and cleanest possible way, and delivered to where it is needed.”
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: “Presenting Commissioner Simson with this Electrification Alliance Award is a significant moment. Amazing work has been achieved so far, but we cannot stop until we reach Net-Zero emissions. Renewable electricity technologies like solar will play a key role in delivering the green transition, for all European citizens.”
The Electrification Alliance is already looking forward to next year’s awards, and engaging with the EU to accelerate Europe’s direct electrification.