Solar Inverter Industry Bids for an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI)

Press release

20 June 2024

MUNICH, Germany (Thursday 20th June 2024): Today the European solar industry has launched their initiative to deliver an IPCEI for solar inverters. 


At the launch of the paper ‘Inverters 2.0: Strengthening Europe’s inverter industry’, representatives* from the inverter industry presented the IPCEI concept to Kerstin Jorna, the European Commission's Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.


European inverters have a critical opportunity to further tap into the technological advancements needed for the electrification and digitalisation of the energy system. The IPCEI aims to ensure that the EU inverter ecosystem maintains an innovation edge, globally. 


European inverter manufacturers are facing pressure and growing competition. A quickly implemented IPCEI will stimulate an innovative and sustainable investment leap forward, empowering Europe to keep pace with the rest of the world.

Inverters 2.0: Strengthening Europe’s inverter industry

An IPCEI for Inverters. Improving technical capacities. Access to critical components. Grid-forming abilities. Enhanced cyber-preparedness. Ensuring interoperability.

Read now

Dries Acke, Deputy CEO and Policy Director at SolarPower Europe (he/him) said, “We need to build on the success story of European inverters. The electrification wave is a critical opportunity for Europe’s inverters to seize the innovation edge and establish a competitive global market share. An IPCEI is the foundation for Europe to entrench its world-leading spot in inverters that go the extra mile – supporting the grid, securing cyber-preparedness, and strengthening digital interoperability.”


The key opportunities and objectives of the IPCEI would target improvements in:

  • The technical capacity of power electronics. 
  • Access to critical components of inverters, and a decrease in material requirements.
  • Grid forming abilities, to support greater, smoother, solar integration into the grid.
  • Enhanced cybersecurity capacity and strengthened digitalisation, which would include a roadmap for cyber-preparedness in solar inverters and ensuring interoperability between European inverters and the energy system.


Three key projects under the IPCEI would focus respectively on; better hardware, smarter software, and a ‘disruptive’ technological breakthrough. With Germany, Austria, Spain, and Italy currently hosting the most inverter manufacturing capacity, the proposal identifies the countries as the potential Member State leaders of the project.


The next meetings of the Joint European Forum for IPCEI (JEF-IPCEI) will take place in Q4 2024. Chaired by Ms Jorna, and Olivier Guersent, Director General for Competition in the European Commission, these meetings evaluate candidate technologies, and decide on which are suitable for the IPCEI procedure.


Inverter Market Key Facts

Inverters Explained 2.0 also includes up to date market data. Some highlights below: 


  • In 2023, there was equivalent of 82.1 GW of solar inverter manufacturing capacity in the EU (compared to around 60 GW of solar installed in the same period).
  • While some EU inverter companies keep growing and announcing reinvestment plans, their relative market share in Europe is shrinking.
  • As of 2023, around 35,000 jobs were employed in the EU by the inverter industry.
  • There are at least 14 inverter companies operating in the EU.
  • The top countries for inverter production are Spain and Germany, with Spain providing almost half the total EU manufacturing capacity from 4 companies, while Germany hosts almost a third of EU manufacturing capacity, from at least 8 inverter producers


Inverters 2.0 was launched in Munich, at Intersolar Europe, and a recorded version of the conversation will be made available in coming weeks. 


*Representatives present: 

  • Carlos Llombart, Chief Customer and Corporate Strategy Officer, Power Electronics
  • Katharina Eickelberg, Senior Vice President Global Communications & Sustainability, SMA
  • Martin Hackl, Global Director Marketing & Sales Business Unit Solar Energy, Fronius
  • Matthias Haig, Chief Technology Officer, Kaco
  • Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe 
What's an IPCEI?

IPCEIs are Member State-led ambitious cross-border breakthrough innovation and infrastructure projects that can contribute significantly to the achievement of EU strategies, including the European Green Deal and the Digital strategy, while generating positive spill-over effects benefiting the EU economy and its citizens at large beyond the participating Member States.


Since IPCEIs are funded from national budgets, Member States are in the driving seat to identify the scope of the project, to select (preferably following open calls) participating companies, and to agree on project governance. The public support by Member States to the projects and companies participating under the IPCEI, which constitutes State aid under EU rules, has to be notified to the Commission for assessment and approval. The Commission stands ready to support plans by Member States and the industry, provide guidance and coordinate efforts, where necessary, and is committed to a swift assessment of the relevant projects as soon as notified. Once formally notified, the Commission assesses proposed projects under the IPCEI Communication.


Read more from the European Commission here.

Questions? Get in touch.

Bethany Meban
Head of Press and Policy Communications


© SolarPower Europe - Speakers at Inverters Explained 2.0 side session at Intersolar Europe 2024 in Munich, (from L-R): Matthias Haig, Kaco; Martin Hackl, Fronius; Kerstin Jorna, European Commission; Walburga Hemetsberger, SolarPower Europe; Carlos Llombart, Power Electronics; and Katharina Eickelberg, SMA (Download picture here).

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