SolarPower Europe newsletter

Editorial: A message from the new President of SolarPower Europe

By Aristotelis Chantavas, President of SolarPower Europe

Photo: Aristotelis Chantavas, President of SolarPower Europe

Dear members of SolarPower Europe and friends

As the coronavirus crisis poses an unprecedented challenge to Europe’s economy and society, our priority is working together to mitigate its effects and planning for a prompt and steadfast recovery. As Europe will inevitably recover from this difficult period, we must maintain a focus on what we consider the most effective and sustainable path for growth: the energy transition.

Over the last few years, the energy transition has gained momentum as a global phenomenon affecting, on one hand,  current energy supply structures and, on the other hand, the roles that citizens and businesses can play in fostering decarbonisation. One factor in the attainment of a truly carbon-neutral economy is the impressive rise of solar power. Thanks to the hard work of SolarPower Europe and its members, this sustainable clean energy technology has rapidly gained traction from being a promising new entrant to a mainstream, cost-effective energy generation option. In fact, solar energy today provides more than 14 percent of Europe’s renewable electricity consumption, and is now the most cost-effective and easily-deployed renewable energy technology.

The near future will see solar unleashing its full potential to become Europe’s dominant power generation technology. Βut in order to achieve this, it is imperative that we, as business leaders, keep on pushing this growth trajectory, and remain united in our efforts to provide clear guidance to policymakers. In fact, a solar-friendly regulatory framework will be the stepping-stone to spur its massive growth potential and help us all reach the European decarbonisation goals in the most cost-efficient, sustainable, and secure way possible.

In order to deliver a favorable framework, European governments must implement the right policies to ensure investments move from concept to reality. The first major area for intervention is a comprehensive reform of the permitting process, which today represents a regulatory bottleneck that hampers the development of solar projects. Another area that urgently needs addressing is the overhaul of the energy market and its operational structures, in order to improve the integration of renewable sources and novel flexibility approaches, including aggregation and hybridisation with storage systems.

Another critical factor to ensure Europe’s long-term energy supply security and technology leadership is the development of a comprehensive industrial policy for renewables. Europe is already a global hub for innovation and its cutting-edge enterprises are a decisive asset in maintaining its role as a provider of sustainable energy technologies. A strategic sector in which Europe has not fulfilled its total potential is the manufacturing of solar PV. However, our innovative know-how gives European manufacturers a competitive edge, provided that the industrialisation process is fast-tracked by consistent policies.

To this aim, renewable energy technologies should be acknowledged as a key Strategic Value Chain, complementing the value chains identified so far. In order to further boost the energy transition and reach Europe’s decarbonisation goals, a clear and consistent electrification strategy will have to be based on renewables and structured in such a way so as to accompany its growth.

In order to reach climate neutrality, the most cost-effective approach is based on direct electrification, which requires switching most of the industry and transport uses from traditional energy sources to renewables. Renewables are particularly useful here, as they can be leveraged to generate carbon-neutral fuels like hydrogen, which is instrumental in reducing carbon emissions for those activities that do not have alternatives for emission reduction.

Again, this is a critical time for our sector and for the energy transition in Europe. The discussion around and development of the Green Deal represents a unique opportunity to promote the role of solar in the European energy market.

Looking beyond Europe, Africa has the unique opportunity to bridge its energy access gap in a far more sustainable, cost-effective, and less carbon-intensive way. With 48% of its population lacking access to electricity, there is a tremendous opportunity to harness the continent’s potential for renewable energy to build a truly sustainable energy system, leapfrogging polluting and expensive fossil fuel technologies in favor of clean and cheap sources of electricity. Mobilising the investments necessary for this transition is also an opportunity for Europe, and I will involve all the members of the association to achieve this result.

My fellow members and friends, nobody should be left aside in this common effort to bring solar power to the core of European policies and initiatives. With your help, I am convinced that we will succeed in bringing SolarPower Europe and the solar sector as a whole towards a bright and sunny future.

Introducing the Shine On digital series – solar insights to brighten your day

Photo: © Shutterstock

During these challenging times, we must find new, creative ways to adapt to the remote working situation. In this regard, we are pleased to announce our new Shine On digital series, brightening your day with regular podcasts, webinars, and executive interviews. Stay up to date with the latest business and policy intelligence shaping the solar industry, with dispatches from the frontlines of the energy transition, in-depth interviews with sector heavyweights, and interactive webinars covering the most important topics in solar.  

Throughout the month of April we have a webinar series planned, with topics ranging from the launch of our ground-breaking study ‘100% renewable Europe’, to a session hosted by MEP Jutta Paulus and MEP Pernille Weiss on the remarkable solar rooftop potential across cities and regions in Europe.

Register for all the sessions here.

Our new Shine On podcast will be released soon, with episodes delving into impact of COVID-19 on solar associations and companies – the podcast will be available on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your audio content.

Join the conversation on social media using #ShineOnSolar and do not hesitate to contact Lorena Morales if you have any questions.

From all of us at SolarPower Europe, we wish you health and safety during this challenging period, and hope that our new digital series can provide insight during this time.

COVID-19: Solar and renewables can power green EU economic recovery

©Lightsource BP

SolarPower Europe, together with 31 associations from the renewable and energy efficiency sectors, delivered a joint proposal on how the European Commission can build on European Green Deal priorities to develop the economic stimulus package. The proposal indicates that investments should be channeled into cost-competitive energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, which have significant job-creation potential in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is in line with the European Council’s pledge to provide recovery measures to put the EU back on track for sustainable growth, integrating both the green transition and digital transformation. Fast-tracking investments for zero-carbon buildings, as well as clean mobility and industrial processes, should be a key priority in order to strengthen the European clean energy industry and deliver the energy transition for all Europeans.

Read the joint #EUGreenRecovery proposal here

Related articles:

Solar can play a key role in EU Green stimulus package

Industrial strategy: European Commission recognises the need for more strategic approach to renewable energy industries

By Lukas Clark-Memler, Press & Communications Advisor  @SolarPowerLukas

Photo: Margrethe Vestager, Valdis Dombrovskis, and Thierry Breton (from left to right) © European Union, 2020

On 10 March , the European Commission presented its new strategy to help Europe’s industry lead the twin transitions towards climate neutrality and digital leadership. The strategy acknowledges the need for a more strategic approach to renewable energy industries, proposing the creation of Alliances on Low-Carbon Industries, the creation of a European Innovation Council, and the launch of an Industrial Forum in September 2020, open to industrial stakeholders. The Forum will investigate the risks and needs of different industrial ecosystems and help to develop a dedicated industrial toolbox.

The Commission’s Communication, ‘A New Industrial Strategy for Europe’ is an encouraging development from the European Commission. The strategy provides a promising starting point, reflecting the need to intensify the cooperation between European Institutions and renewable industries, to develop a concrete ‘Industrial Toolbox’ for the solar sector. 

The Commission Communication on a New Industrial Strategy for Europe will next be discussed by the European Parliament.

Related articles:

Golden opportunity for an industrial strategy for solar

SolarPower Europe: new President and 3 new Board Members

By Kristina Thoring, Communications Director @SolarPowerKris

Following the Board elections of SolarPower Europe on 26 March, held remotely, Aristotelis Chantavas, Head of Europe for Enel Green Power, has been elected as the new President of the association, replacing the outgoing Christian Westermeier from Wacker Chemie.

Speaking on his elections, Mr. Chantavas said it was an honour to lead the Board of SolarPower Europe at this crucial time as the European Green Deal represents a unique opportunity to promote the role of solar power in the European Green Deal. On his vision for the association President Chantavas said that the association will reinforce its relationship with the European institutions, to ensure that solar will play a key role in the Green Deal framework by empowering innovative technologies and shared know-how to accelerate the energy transition.

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe congratulated Mr. Chantavas on his election, noting that the association is confident he will continue the excellent work of the association leading SolarPower Europe through an essential period for solar power in Europe. Hemetsberger pointed out that Mr Chantavas vast experience as Head of Europe for Enel Green Power, one of the largest European players in renewables makes him well-equipped to position solar as the primary energy technology in the transition. Hemetsberger also thanked Christian Westermeier for his leadership as President over the last years.

Two Vice Presidents were also elected, Jochen Hauff from BayWa r.e. and Christian Westermeier from Wacker Chemie.  Vincenzo Costanzelli from Trina Solar and three new directors were elected to the board, including Alexandra Sombsthay from Akuo Energy, Jörg Ebel from IBC Solar and Martin Hackl from Fronius International.  Congratulations to all!

Daniel Dang appointed SolarPower Europe’s Director of Business Development

By Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe @SolarWalburga

Daniel Dang has been appointed Director of Business Development at SolarPower Europe. Daniel has worked at the association since 2014 and as Head of Sales and Marketing since 2017.  

In addition, Daniel is co-coordinator of the RE-Source platform which is an alliance between key stakeholders focused on accelerating the adoption of renewables through corporate sourcing. He is also an Advisory Board Member of the Association Co-Space lead by visit.brussels.

He previously worked as a Finance and Insurance Consultant at KBC and held the position of Marketing Researcher at Burgas Airport. Daniel holds a master’s degree in Management Science from HEC Management School, gained a specialization in Digital Marketing and Sales Management from the University of Liege, and has a bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Economics Varna.

SolarPower Europe’s BIPV Task Force publishes declaration on how BIPV can unlock new opportunities for EU Green Deal

By Miguel Herrero, Policy Advisor @SolarPowerMig

Photo: Sunstyle

To highlight the significant benefits that Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) present, SolarPower Europe’s BIPV Task Force has published a new BIPV Declaration, which details how the EU can lead the world in this innovative solar technology. BIPV refers to versatile solar construction products, such as solar roof tiles, façade cladding, and windows, which all enable the seamless deployment of renewable energy generation throughout buildings.

The Declaration urges that the use of BIPV solar construction products be mainstreamed in the EU’s buildings stock, as part of the European Green Deal’s Renovation Wave. This would support the decarbonisation of the EU’s building stock, which is currently responsible for at least 36% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions. Further, this would provide new opportunities for the integration of renewable energy generation capacity in heritage-listed buildings and reinforce European leadership in clean energy technologies. 

The Declaration highlights five priorities to unleash BIPV in the EU: (1) increasing the size and depth of European and global markets, (2) adopting a strategic approach to renewable industries, (3) delivering a single market for BIPV, (4) supporting innovation in solar PV and construction industries, and (5) developing high standards of sustainability for BIPV.

Alexandra Sombsthay, Chair of the BIPV Task Force and VP European & International Public Affairs at Akuo Energy said that with the new declaration the task force aim to provide legislators with a ready-to-go toolbox to ensure Europe takes the lead on BIPV and that the task force will work to ensure a bold industrial policy and for the creation of a single market for construction goods that will strengthen the construction sector, bring new jobs, innovation and businesses.

If you are interested in learning more about the BIPV Task Force, please contact Miguel Herrero, Policy Advisor and BIPV Task Force Coordinator

Related links:

Solar buildings: Harvesting the EU’s built environment for climate and industrial leadership

New reports shine lights on solar investment opportunities in India and Tunisia

By Máté Heisz, Head of International Cooperation @mateheisz

Photo: Launch of the India solar market report at the EU Pavilion during India Smart Utility Week

SolarPower Europe’s Emerging Markets Task Force, led by Eni, has launched two new reports exploring solar opportunities in India and Tunisia. The former was authored by E.ON with the support of other Task Force members and in collaboration with the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI). The latter was prepared by Finergreen and supported by the Tunisian Solar Installers’ Association (Chambre Syndicale du Photovoltaïque, CSPV).

The reports provide a snapshot of the countries’ business environment and an overview of Tunisia’s and India’s major demographic and macroeconomic trends. They also analyse issues related to the countries credit risk. The reports provide recommendations for local policymakers, national and international investors and development finance institutions to consider.

The research finds that India is one of the most attractive markets for solar investment in the world. The country’s government aims to reach 100 GW of installed solar capacity by 2030. To achieve this goal, the country has taken large steps to develop solar PV and created opportunities for national and international investors, ensuring the sector’s consistent growth.

Tunisia has promising solar prospects, with an average horizontal irradiation of around 1,850 kWh/m2/year. Recent calls for solar PV projects are making the Plan Solaire Tunisien become a reality. If realised, 30% of the country’s electricity demand will be satisfied by solar power in ten years from now.

Results of the report on India were presented at a workshop held at the EU Pavilion during the India Smart Utility Week in New Delhi which took place on 4 March. Insights on the Tunisian market were presented by SolarPower Europe members to public sector representatives in a workshop in Tunis on 24 February.

SolarPower Europe’s Emerging Markets Task Force identifies business and cooperation opportunities in emerging markets outside of Europe, with the aim of contributing to the global energy transition. The reports on India and Tunisia are the seventh and eighth in a series of market reports. Previous reports cover Tunisia, Mozambique, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Myanmar and Kazakhstan.

All reports can be downloaded here – free of charge.

If you want to learn more about SolarPower Europe’s Emerging Markets Task Force contact Máté Heisz.

SolarPower Europe & GET.invest webinar recap: How to mobilise renewable energy investments in the ACP region

By Molly Hope, Junior Communications and Social Media Advisor @SolarPowerMolly

Photo: Shutterstock

On 27th February, SolarPower Europe and GET.invest, a European programme supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria that aims at mobilising investments in decentralised renewable energy, held a webinar on ‘Mobilising renewable energy investment in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region’.

The webinar opened with a welcome statement from SolarPower Europe’s Head of International Cooperation, Máté Heisz. He emphasised that the purpose of the webinar was to learn more about the EU energy cooperation beyond Europe and deep dive into the services offered by GET.invest.

 

Silvia Ainio, from DG DEVCO C.6 of the European Commission, began the webinar. She started by giving an overview of the EU’s sustainable energy strategy and the impressive universe of EU instruments available to promote EU energy investment outside of Europe. She also pointed to the three main action areas of the Commission, the first of which is ‘promoting ownership’ through budget support and policy dialogue. The second action area is ‘expertise’: DEVCO brings in technical expertise in their actions with the aim of improving logistical frameworks and institutional capacities. With this action, DEVCO aims to enhance the technical skills of the workforce, promoting cross-border interconnection, research and innovation for the countries’ transition to a low carbon model. Finally, the third action area was the use of ‘financial tools’, as Ainio stated that it is crucial to leverage additional investments from the private sector by providing concessional and risk capital.

 

Ainio went on to highlight the flagship instrument of the Commission’s tools as the ‘EU External Investment Plan’, which tackles the aforementioned action areas and brings them together. This plan provides innovative financing tools such as guarantees and blending. Additionally, it provides expertise in technical assistance and supports the investment climate of a country, by tackling the conditions that investors consider when making decisions.

Next, the Team Leader of GET.invest, Michael Franz, outlined the specific services and activities of GET.invest that could be beneficial in mobilising renewable energy investments in the ACP region.

He explained that GET.invest is a European programme – supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria – with the role of supporting investments in decentralised renewable energy in partner countries. They can provide ‘private sector mobilisation’ which includes market information, events and cooperation with associations, to stimulate partnerships and new projects or business development. They can also provide ‘pipeline development’ such as advisory support and capacity development to get existing projects and companies ready for financing. He noted that there are many people who are good at doing business or developing projects looking for funding as well as many actors looking to finance, but they do not necessarily know each other, and their language may not be the same. He added that the smaller or the more local the company the more difficult it gets to find financing. As such, GET.invest has designed a mechanism that sits in between and marries the two groups.

Franz then went on to explain in more detail the services that GET.invest offers, including providing market information, a funding database, supporting partner associations in hosting events, and offering access-to-finance advisory through the GET.invest Finance Catalyst. He highlighted Finance Catalyst’s team of advisors who are available to link projects with financiers. So far, they have had more than 500 application with over 100 supported transactions and more than 25 projects and companies successfully linked with financing.

Wrapping up his presentation, Franz concluded that GET.invest’s support is open to any company willing to engage in decentralised renewable energy in the ACP region.

Finally, the CEO of Finergreen, Damien Ricordeau, spoke from the industries point of view. Finergreen is a financial advisory dedicated to renewables, based in Europe and other emerging countries and supports developers and construction of renewable energy projects. He spoke about the potential difficulties in raising funds in the ACP region as most projects are relatively small and there are fewer investors for small islands. They can also be viewed as too risky for private investors if they are located in an unstable geopolitical area. Finergreen advises on construction financing which includes bridge financing to fund construction before having long-term backing.

Ricordeau suggested that apart from the support from public entities such as GET.invest, projects and companies could also benefit from private support like Finergreen to support fundraising at every step of the project.

The full webinar can be watched here

Related articles:

SolarPower Europe and GET.invest announce partnership to mobilise joint European and emerging market solar development

RE-Source Platform launches new report ‘Risk mitigation for corporate renewable PPAs

Corporate renewable PPAs have the potential to make a big difference in the transition to a low-carbon economy by providing developers of renewable power plants certainty on future revenues. But they are not simple. PPAs have many risks associated with them, risks that have traditionally been handled by utilities, developers and energy traders.

This report describes the risks that corporates need to be aware of when considering a long-term PPA and provides examples, written by expects in the field, of mitigating services and tools which can be used to mitigate some of the risks.

The RE-Source Platform, established by SolarPower Europe, WindEurope, RE100 (led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP) and WBCSD  hope this report helps you on your way to signing a PPA and contributing to the build-out of new renewable power.

Download the report here

Advertising opportunities in SolarPower Europe's Global Market Outlook

By Lluis Manso Matachana, Business Development Officer

Our annual, award-winning Global Market Outlook for Solar Power is the most authoritative market analysis report for the global solar power sector.

The report will be launched in June 2020 – further details to follow.

With comprehensive historical market data, 5-year forecasts for the main global markets, as well as an analysis of the segmentation between rooftop and ground-mounted systems, this report is an indispensable tool for the solar industry and energy stakeholders alike.

GMO in numbers:

  • 15k downloads
  • 150+ articles
  • Readers cover the entire value chain (IPP, Investor, Asset Manager, Manufacturer, Service Provider, etc)

This new edition includes a special chapter with details on all solar markets that installed more than 1 GW.

For more information about advertising opportunities in the Global Market Outlook please click here

If you have any questions please constact Lluis Manso Matachana, Business Development Officer .

Photo of the Month

By Kristina Thoring, Communications Director @SolarPowerKris

Photo: Happy Easter from all of us at SolarPower Europe © Lightsource BP

Advertorials

EU Clean Energy Package: 28 April - 4June 2020 Online Course

The EU Clean Energy Package sets the energy and climate ambitions for the 2030 horizon, and the regulatory framework to achieve these ambitions. This online course provides a platform for experts to exchange views, and for non-experts to get up to speed with the thousands of pages of new rules. Each week will have a comprehensive class with live interaction between the participants and the FSR instructors and it will culminate in three live panels consisting of high level invited experts.

Deadline for Registration: 14 April 2020

More information and register here: https://fsr.eui.eu/course/eu-clean-energy-package/

Profit from Mexico's solar rise

Mexico is a key market for solar power. In line with the national targets arising from the Energy Reform, by 2024, 35% of energy will come from renewable sources, a percentage that must rise to 50% by 2050. The abundant solar resource, high energy prices, the fall in technology costs and the growing need for resource diversification all combine to position Mexico among the world’s leaders in the development of the solar industry. Forecasts rank Mexico fifth in terms of the new PV capacity expected for 2021, with 10 GW of capacity and a growth of 84%. All this places Mexico in a unique position for the development of the solar market and this is the context in which Intersolar Mexico will be held this September.

Intersolar Mexico, which is structured around the main thematic axes of PV, heating and cooling, solar and energy storage technologies, is an industry reference point for technological trends and top level B2B contacts in Mexico’s promising solar market. Following its debut in 2019, Intersolar Mexico, which is held in parallel to The GREEN Expo® and Aquatech Mexico, is showcasing its new premises for the 2020 edition of the trade fair: The Citibanamex Centre in Mexico City. This change aims to make Intersolar Mexico triple in size compared to its first edition.

These three events comprise the largest meeting of professionals in Mexico for international manufacturers and distributors that are looking for regional buyers in the fields of solar power, renewable energy and clean technologies – 300 exhibitors and 13,500 visitors from over 35 countries are expected to take part.

Make critical business connections that drive your business forward and build brand awareness in the promising Mexican solar market. Join us on the road to Mexico’s bright solar energy future!

Save the date!

Exhibition Date: September 08–10, 2020 I Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City

Exhibitor Information:  www.intersolar.mx  For Exhibitors  Apply Now

STERN ENERGY STARTS ITS OPERATION IN GERMANY

On the 24th of February 2020, Stern Energy SPA finalized the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Stern Energy GMBH, the spin off from Encavis Technical Service GmbH that is in charge for the operation and maintenance of the PV German portfolio of the Encavis AG.

This transaction strengthens the partnership between Stern Energy and Encavis, allowing Stern Energy to enter the German market with an existing structure and a managed capacity of about 270 MWp.

Germany is the reference market for photovoltaic in Europe with the greatest installed capacity and a mature and competent market.  This acquisition is strenghtening Stern Energy Group in the European market of technical services for utility size photovoltaic systems positioning the company within the main european players in the sector.

Stern Energy is thus proceeding with its international expansion with about 1 GW under management over 4 countries: Italy, UK, Netherlands and Germany.

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