On 18-22 September, over 1500 participants attended the EUPVSEC conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The event brought together PV experts from across the world to delve into the latest insights on R&D.
The conference highlighted the holistic approach needed to guarantee the future of PV, bringing together all sectors and perspectives - scientific, technical, economic, political, business, and also social and educational.
During the opening session, SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger highlighted the grid constraints which can slow down solar installations. She commented; “we are looking back at years of underinvestment in our grids; it needs to get highest political priority...It’s all the more reason the sector has to work with each other to overcome bottlenecks. Together, we can deliver a solar-powered future.”
On the second day of the conference, SolarPower Europe organised an event on ‘Shaping a European Solar Powerhouse,’ to explore the role of innovation in consolidating a European PV manufacturing value chain. Here, Rutger Schlatmann, Head of the Solar Energy division at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, and European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) Chairman asserted; “The EU needs to innovate at scale,” and shorten the lab to market process, currently proving the biggest challenge to European PV R&I programmes.
During day 3, TRUSTPV, SERENDI PV and ETIP PV jointly hosted a side-event on grids and PV forecasting. Speakers explored the trends and dynamics for the transformation of the grid, while accelerating PV deployment at the transmission and distribution level. David Moser, Head of Eurac research, and ETIP PV Vice-Chair said;"People were saying PV would take the grid down at 10%, 20% penetration rates. This has not happened yet. I think we are ready to have a lot of PV in the transmission and distribution grids!"
On the fourth day of the conference, ETIP PV organised a workshop on ‘Data, AI, IOT: Opportunities and challenges for PV innovation.’ During this session, 40 participants exchanged their knowledge on the ongoing trends for PV R&I in the context of digitalisation.
Other highlights from the conference included SolarPower Europe’s Head of Market Intelligence Raffaele Rossi moderating a session on solar market growth and solar manufacturing. SolarPower Europe Executive Advisor and Director of Market Intelligence, Michael Schmela also participated in sessions on the ‘Development of Sustainability Regulations for the PV Industry, and ‘Unlocking the PV Potential.’
Overall, this year’s conference provided a valuable platform for exchanging, and shaping the key topics of the European solar PV industry.
European Technology & Innovation Platforms (ETIPs) have been created by the European Commission in the framework of the new Integrated Roadmap Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) by bringing together EU countries, industry, and researchers in key areas. They promote the market uptake of key energy technologies by pooling funding, skills, and research facilities.
The European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) mobiliSes all stakeholders sharing a long-term European vision for PV, helping to ensure that Europe maintains and improves its industrial position, in order to achieve a leadership position within the global PV market.
SERENDI-PV is a four-year, €12 million project funded by the European Commission working to advance the energy transition in Europe through: improving the lifetime, reliability, performance & profitability of PV generation; and increasing the penetration of PV generation in the European grid with improved stability
A 4-year research project with over € 12 million in grant value from the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme, TRUSTPV will improve the performance and reliability of solar power plants.
The objective of TRUSTPV is to reach a demonstrated increase in performance and reliability of solar PV components (through O&M-friendly PV module design, robust reliable inverter solutions, aftermarket coatings), solar PV systems (disruptive engineering concepts, accurate design, construction, operation, repowering and decommissioning), and in large portfolios of distributed and utility-scale solar PV (digital twins, advanced forecasting, statistical analysis).