EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson presented with the European Solar Champion Award

5 March 2024

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Tuesday 5th March 2024): In recognition of her contribution to the European solar sector, SolarPower Europe is pleased to present the inaugural European Solar Champion Award to EU Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson.


Commissioner Simson has presided over a boom era for European solar since she joined President von der Leyen’s Commission in December 2019. Since 2020, EU solar installations have grown by at least 40% each year. The total EU solar fleet has more than doubled since 2019; from 119 GW to more than 260 GW today.


On receipt of the Award, EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said: “Solar PV has risen as the bright star of our energy transition. As it can be deployed fast, it played a key role in managing the energy crisis. We have therefore put a lot of efforts to support the solar sector with the REpowerEU, the Solar Energy Strategy and finalising several initiatives to improve the regulatory environment for solar. In electricity market design we will further promote rooftop solar deployment and prosumers.


These efforts paid off as today solar is the fastest growing source of electricity. I am proud that with today’s award the immense efforts put into this work have been recognised.”


[You can read the Commissioner's Keynote Speech here]


From her role in the EU Green Deal in June 2021, to her leadership under the May 2022 landmark EU Solar Strategy, the Commissioner has played a crucial role in mainstreaming solar PV’s place in EU policy.


Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe said: “Recent years have been marked by solar milestones, and Commissioner Simson has been alongside us in our journey. It is a pleasure to recognise her contribution to the growth of solar in Europe, which we experience today, look forward to in 2030, and will feel for generations to come.”


In supporting permitting reform under the Renewable Energy Directive and its 45% EU renewable target in 2030, as well as the EU Solar Rooftop Standard, Electricity Market Design Revision, and the EU Grids Action Plan, Commissioner Simson has helped build the framework for rapid deployment of solar in Europe.


At the other end of the supply chain, the Commissioner has been a longstanding ally of European solar manufacturers, supporting the European Solar Initiative back in 2021, and its successor, the European Solar PV Industry Alliance since December 2022.


Most recently, Commissioner Simson has been integral in bringing the recent manufacturing crisis to the table of the EU Energy Council, which yesterday confirmed a forthcoming EU Solar Power Pledge to support domestic manufacturing capacity.


The European Solar Champion Award was presented at the annual SolarPower Summit in Brussels. 

Questions? Get in touch.

Bethany Meban
Head of Press and Policy Communications

+32 492 97 82 48
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