SolarPower Europe newsletter

Editorial: Solar Manufacturing Accelerator – prime time to bolster Europe’s solar manufacturing

By Walburga Hemetberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe @SolarWalburga

Photo: © Oxford PV

As Europe focuses on a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the solar sector is ready to step up to ensure that momentum is not lost on reaching the European Green Deal’s climate and energy targets. In particular, European solar PV manufacturing is an opportunity to invest in a strategic technology of the future, which not only creates new jobs and sustainable growth, but increases Europe’s energy security and autonomy. Europe has always been the cradle of solar innovation, and we have so many cutting-edge, shovel-ready manufacturing projects that can lead the transition.

In this regard, I am very proud with our recent launch of the “Solar Manufacturing Accelerator”, a platform aimed at accelerating the deployment of solar PV manufacturing projects in Europe as a critical milestone to strengthen the EU’s leadership in Clean Energy Technologies and contribute to the re-industrialisation of Europe. The Accelerator is an initiative coordinated by SolarPower Europe with the support of its strategic partners ESMC, ETIP-PV, IPVF and VDMA. It is open to all companies and organisations interested in developing or partnering on solar manufacturing projects.

Another milestone this past month was the first Solar Manufacturing Accelerator Conference, which included 10 presentations from European solar manufacturing projects, featuring manufacturing and innovation of cells, modules and wafers, which represent more than 20,000 new jobs in Europe. The conference, held on 8 July, revealed the impressive potential of European solar manufacturing, and proved that it is already developing state-of-the art technologies and fully in line with the goals of the European Green Deal. The projects were presented to European Ministers amongst which Claude Turmes, Minister of Energy and Spatial Planning, Luxembourg and Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, Minister for Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, EU policymakers, and stakeholders,

We are excited to continue our constructive dialogue with European member states and partners, but this is only the beginning: the Accelerator, which at the moment gathers 40+ participating organisations, will support more industrial projects and is committed to delivering the future of European solar PV manufacturing.

If you want to learn more about the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator, please contact Naomi Chevillard at

Related articles:

Next generation solar PV technologies in Europe: 10 shovel-ready projects presented to European policymakers at Solar Manufacturing Accelerator Conference

VDMA join “Solar Manufacturing Accelerator” to strengthen solar PV manufacturing in Europe

ESMC and ETIP-PV join “Solar Manufacturing Accelerator” to boost solar PV manufacturing in Europe

IPVF joins “Solar Manufacturing Accelerator” to promote solar manufacturing in Europe

Highlight: 3rd Digital Solar & Storage Start-up Award: We are looking for the brightest business ideas!

By Lorena Morales Gonzalez, Events & Marketing Officer


Photo: Stefan Müller, Co-Founder, Enerparc; Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence, SolarPower Europe; and Joan Collell, Co-founder and COO of FlexiDAO, winner of the second annual Digital Solar & Storage Startup Awards.

SolarPower Europe is looking again for the brightest business ideas in the sector.

At the SolarPower Summit 2020, the 3rd annual Digital Solar & Storage Startup Awards, which will take place online, will honour small, early-career startups with the most innovative ideas in the field of digitalisation and solar storage.

Applications are open, find all information about entering the competition below.


The voting will take place at the SolarPower Summit 2020 on Tuesday 29th of September. The prize money is 5,000 euro.

 Who is eligible to participate?

For the 3rd Digital Solar & Storage 2020 Award, we invite start-ups active in the field of digital solar & storage that have proven traction and employ no more than 20 FTEs.


  • 20/07/2020 – Competition opens
  • 31/08/2020 – Deadline for Applications
  • 07/09/2020 – Announcement of Shortlisted Candidates
  • 14/09/2020 – Announcement of Finalists
  • 30/09/2020 – Finalists presentations at Conference in Brussels and Awards Selection



  • Wins 5000 euros (sponsored by Enerparc)
  • Opportunity to pitch at the SolarPower Summit 2020
  • 1 year of free membership at SolarPower Europe
  • Name and website of the company on the SolarPower Summit 2020 website

Top 4: Finalists

  • Opportunity to pitch at the SolarPower Summit 2020
  • 1 year of free membership at SolarPower Europe
  • Name and website of the company on the SolarPower Summit 2020 website

Top 10: Shortlist

  • Name and website of the company on the SolarPower Summit 2020 website


To apply please click here and fill in the form by 31/08/2020.

For more information please contact Manuele Poli at  

Related articles:

FlexiDAO wins second annual Digital Solar & Storage Startup Awards with blockchain management tool

Huge solar opportunity for the EU Renovation wave

By Miguel Herreo Cangas, Policy Advisor, SolarPower Europe @SolarPowerMig


Photo: © Ernst

The European Commission will soon present the Renovation Wave initiative, the European Green Deal flagship initiative to decarbonise the EU’s building stock. Buildings are responsible for about 36% of the EU’s emissions so removing these will be crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050. COVID has increased the importance of this initiative, as it is now a central element of Next Generation EU, the EU’s recovery plan.

Both the Renovation Wave and Next Generation EU are a unique opportunity to boost the deployment of on-site solar across Europe. According to the JRC the EU’s rooftops could produce about 680 TWh of electricity per year, or about 25% of the EU’s electricity consumption. If we consider the role of Building Integrated Photovoltaics that can be deployed on façades or on heritage-listed buildings, the potential is even greater.

In order to meet the EU’s solar rooftop potential greater ambition is needed at both EU and  Member State level. This is why we propose the launch of a European Solar Rooftop programme, that would aim to deploy at least 680 GW on the EU’s roofs by 2050. This call was echoed by the ITRE Committee in the European Parliament in this Own Initiative report, a key input to the development of the Renovation Wave.

The current framework to decarbonise buildings is based on the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. However, the current framework has unfortunately not succeeded in delivering the necessary improvements to energy performance of buildings. Building renovation rates are stuck at between 0.4% to 1.2% of the building stock (depending on Member State). Furthermore, only 10% of the EU’s rooftop potential is deployed and the rate at which we deploy rooftop solar in Europe is still low.

The aim of this initiative is to boost the renovation rate up to at least 3% to 5 %. To achieve this, the Commission estimates that it will need to trigger up to €350 billion of public and private investments per year. Although the initiative will target the entirety of the building stock, there will be a focus on public buildings, hospitals, and schools to grow the building renovation sector.

The Renovation wave will be presented at the end of September. Alongside a communication, the European Commission will publish an Action Plan with concrete milestones and a Staff Working Document that will analyse Member State Long-Term Renovation Strategies.

Related articles:

European Solar Rooftop Programme proposed by ITRE Committee as part of upcoming Renovation Wave

New podcast series, 100% Renewable Europe, hands microphone to key figures in renewable's sector

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

After the success of our first podcast series, “Solar in the Time of COVID-19”, we are happy to announce a new series, “100% Renewable Europe”, which will dive further into the results from our study conducted with LUT University. The podcast series will explore what is needed to reach a completely renewables-based system by 2050 with key policymakers and figures representing different sectors of the energy transition. The principal finding from the study was that a 100% renewables-based energy system is the cleanest and most cost-effective scenario for reaching the twin goals of the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement, and does so without any potentially environmentally-harmful tricks, such as carbon sinks and sequestration.

Episode 1 is available to listen now, and features an in-depth interview with Aristotelis Chantavas, President of SolarPower Europe, and Head of Europe for Enel Green Power. Mr Chantavas introduces the ground-breaking report, discusses the benefits of a 100% renewables-bases system, and explores the policy framework necessary for achieving the goals of the European Green Deal. Episode 2 is also available, featuring a conversation with Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric. Episodes will be released throughout the summer, so stay tuned and listen to all episodes here. You can also listen, download, and subscribe to the podcast via Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

If you have any questions or comments please contact podcast host Lukas Clark-Memler, Press and Communications Advisor at SolarPower Europe.


Related articles:

SolarPower Europe’s first podcast has arrived


New survey shows enormous support for rooftop solar in Poland

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

Photo: Shutterstock/

According to a recent nationwide survey in Poland, respondents indicated overwhelming support for rooftop solar in general, as well as mandatory installation of rooftop solar on new buildings. The Polish energy sector has undergone a significant transformation recently, with a target set for 15% of all energy consumed to come from renewable energy by the end of 2020. In particular, solar energy costs have decreased by nearly 80% in the past decade.

The survey, conducted by INDICATOR, a marketing research centre, in collaboration with the Polish Photovoltaics Association, on a representative group of 1,000 adults from across the country, aimed at assessing the level of support for various types of energy sources. Over 60% of respondents supported the development of renewable energy and indicated that renewable energy should be supported by the Polish government. Again, 60% responded that renewables are a cheap source of energy, 65% responded that renewables would generate new jobs, while 70% responded that they could help increase energy security, and 80% responded that renewables are the best manner of combatting climate change.


Among the different renewable energy sources, solar emerged as the most popular, with wind in second place, and gas in third. Coal and nuclear were the lowest rated power sources.

In 2019, Poland broke records for increasing the capacity of small PV installations – the number of prosumers at the end of last year (149,000) is now almost three times larger than in 2018. At the end of 2019, the capacity installed in PV sources was already over 900 MW. When asked if the installation of solar panels should be mandatory on the roofs of newly built buildings, 48% responded that this is a very good idea, and another 15% were in support, but believed that housing should be excluded from such an obligation.

The current Polish administration has shown support for the deployment of solar PV, which makes sense in the country due to high summer peaks in the energy system, which are the result of two factors: heat waves emerging more frequently with climate change, and increasing energy consumption by air conditioning. Repeated droughts caused a reduction of energy production in conventional power plants. Only sufficient solar power can prevent future blackout risk during summer load peaks. Government support for solar can be seen in it reducing VAT on panels, simplifying location procedures and facilitating the rules for issuing licenses for investments up to 1 MW; further it has recently considered extending the renewables auction system, planned for now until 2021. In 2020, the capacity of installed PV in Poland has exceeded 1.7 GW, and after building the winning projects from auctions it will reach over 2 GW. Solar’s increased momentum is due to the decreasing costs of the technology and the growth in popularity of rooftop installations.

See the full results of the survey here. Thanks to Dariusz Mańka, Representative of the Management Board from the Polish PV Association, for providing the information.

Related articles:

Solar for all new and renovated buildings in the EU

New Year, More Solar: Austria pledges to fit 1 million roofs with solar as part of 11 TWh solar installation by 2030

SolarPower Europe presents position paper on the role of solar in the Green Deal Diplomacy

By Beatriz Ildefonso, International Cooperation Advisor

Photo: Shutterstock/

On 27 May 2020, SolarPower Europe discussed with the European Commission on how the EU and the solar industry can work together to help emerging markets. During the meeting, SolarPower Europe presented a position paper prepared by the Emerging Markets Workstream, led by Eni, focused on the role of solar in the Green Deal Diplomacy, the EU-Africa partnership, and the Green Recovery. Further, it discussed how these political instruments can be used to unlock the immense solar potential in emerging markets, and the economic opportunities for both partner countries and European businesses that can come from this. 

The Green Deal Diplomacy and new EU Strategy with Africa unlock new opportunities for EU governments and businesses to drive global cooperation on climate change, as well as to lead a global green recovery after COVID-19. Leveraging instruments such as trade policy, development cooperation, development finance, and crisis management can drive the energy transition in partner countries, and at the same time support the growth of the European renewable industry by opening new market opportunities.

The workshop included presentations from Stefano Mantellassi (Vice-President Energy Solutions, ENI SpA and Chair of the Emerging Markets Workstream ), Alexandra Sombsthay (VP Europe at Akuo Energy and Board Director of SolarPower Europe), Carla Montesi (Director for Planet and Prosperity, DG DEVCO), Anne-Charlotte Bournoville (Head of Unit International Relations and Enlargement, DG ENERGY), Douglas Carpenter (Deputy Head of Division, European External Action Service), and Máté Heisz (Head of International Cooperation, SolarPower Europe), and counted over 40 participants.

Related news:

EU has opportunity to drive global green recovery by supporting emerging solar markets

Download exclusive data from SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Outlook 2020–2024

Photo: (C) First Solar

Following the publication of the Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2020-2024, a series of Excel documents accompanying our most recent report are available exclusively for SolarPower Europe members. The aim of these documents is to help navigate through our data and market analysis.

The files contain information on European and global solar power installations up to 2019, with forecasts on the evolution of solar markets through 2024 under three – Low, Medium, and High – different scenarios. Additionally, you can find data describing the breakdown of installations by system size in selected European countries. As usual, we have included a useful tool with a pivot table that allows you to create your own personalised graphs with the information you are most interested in.

You can download the Global Market Outlook and the Excel files with the pivot tables in the Members’ Area on SolarPower Europe’s website. (Please login first to the Members’ Area and then fill in your personal details in order to be able to download the files).

For any further question, clarification or information, do not hesitate to contact or

Webinar recap: The Potential of Agri-PV in Africa

By Máté Heisz, Head of International Cooperation,  @mateheisz

Photo: NA

On 1 July, SolarPower Europe, in collaboration with GET.invest, a European programme supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria, invited interested participants to a discussion around the potential of Agri-PV for African markets.

Agricultural photovoltaics, or Agri-PV, are technical solutions which combine agricultural infrastructure and solar PV. These hold a high potential to simultaneously enable the sustainable agriculture and clean energy transitions across Africa, and could provide critical support to the thousands of small-scale farmers lacking reliable energy access.  Agri-PV can optimize agricultural land use, provide new revenue streams for rural communities, and enable the adaptation of agriculture to help combat climate change.

The webinar opened with welcoming remarks from European Commission Sustainable Energy Programme Manager Nicolas Ritzenthaler, who spoke on the potential of agricultural photovoltaics, or Agri-PV, to generate a ‘triple win’ scenario with higher crop yields, reduced water usage and the provision of renewable electricity. Bankable offgrid business models and local solutions were emphasized as key ingredients towards a sustainable application of solar PV for agriculture.

The introduction was followed by a presentation of GET.invest support instruments for the renewable energy sector, which include market information, a funding database as well as long-term access-to-finance advisory as well as Covid-19 support for companies facing acute and critical finance-related problems.

Lucie Pluschke from the GIZ-implemented Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) initiative went on to give insights into the potential of offgrid solar solutions for productive use, providing enhanced income-generating opportunities for offgrid households.  Barriers to uptake were described, including lower peak processing capacities and distribution challenges. Investment expert Marc Buiting from the EU Technical Assistance Facility for Sustainable Energy added that affordability is a central theme in exploring solar options.

Stephan Schindele from BayWa r.e. described the opportunities that exist in a growing market: increasing tax benefits and demand-pull supporting implementation and fostering investment security. What is needed now is for industry players to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and create an institutional framework conducive to dialogue and coordination, according to Jo-Ann from the South African PV Industry Association (SAPVIA).

The webinar can be watched here.

Related articles:

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

We are recruiting: job openings at SolarPower Europe in Communications, Policy, and International Cooperation

SolarPower Europe, based in Brussels, is recruiting for a range of new positions, across our Communications, Policy, and International Cooperation departments. We are a highly motivated and dynamic team, who are passionate about our work and delivering strong results for the solar sector. In the past two years, we have won 6 European association awards, which is a testimony to the excellent results we are achieving in our industry.

First, we are recruiting a Digital Communications and Social Media Advisor to support and enhance our digital communications. Communications and maintaining an engaging digital presence are crucial to the work we do. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a renewed focus on our digital content and channels, aiming to deliver high-quality, creative, and dynamic multimedia content to our target audience. Thus, we are looking for a highly motivated Digital Communications and Social Media Advisor to take our online presence to new levels. Read more about the position and apply here.

Second, we are recruiting a Policy Intern. The Policy and Advocacy unit monitors the development of European and national solar-related policies and prepares and develops SolarPower Europe’s positions in close coordination with our members. Read more about the position and apply here.

Finally, we are recruiting a Project Assistant for International Cooperation. The Project Assistant will be in charge of assisting the Head of International Cooperation in organising the association’s ongoing projects. This task involves monitoring project plans, schedules, work hours, budgets, and expenditures, organising and participating in stakeholder meetings, liaising with technical project experts, and ensuring that project deadlines are met in a timely manner, and supporting the preparation of new project proposals. Read more about the position and apply here.

For more information on all jobs and how to apply, visit our Careers page. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact

Photo of the Month

Photo: © Soltec: Solar PV plant located in Tlaxcala, Mexico, with Soltec’s SF7 Bifacial Tracker



Energy access sector essential to building back better

At the Energy Access COVID-19 Relief Summit that took place from 15-16 July, more than 1,000 energy access representatives assessed the pandemic’s impact on businesses and consumers, stressing the sector’s role in (re)building sustainable, resilient communities and economies.

The two-day summit was organized by ARE and GOGLA with support from GET.invest and in partnership with AMDA, ESMAP, GDC, SEforALL and the Clean Cooking Alliance. Participants met in 600 online matchmaking meetings, organised by GET.invest, a programme supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria.

We cannot just sit and celebrate past achievements, we need to look forward. COVID-19 is an opportunity for us to come out of the crisis with energy access at the top of our agendas, as a key enabler of development“, Silvia Anna Ainio from the European Commission said during the summit. Frank van der Vleuten from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs added: “This crisis is a unique moment of risk and opportunity; we need to strengthen our evidence base and raise our voices together to steer economic recovery towards building back better.”

Speakers at the virtual event highlighted the effects of COVID-19 on companies’ operations and their customers’ lives. In a regularly updated survey, 85% of off-grid consumers say their financial situation got worse. Consumers value energy access so much, they are willing to use savings or in some cases even reduce food expenses to be able to continue using their products.

Businesses have adapted quickly, proving to be remarkably resilient in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. They have not only found innovative ways to serve customers, but also responded to reduced household incomes. However, it is clear the sector and its customers need support in all shapes and sizes. More than half of the sector’s businesses indicated they will need short-term financial relief. Next to immediate financial relief and technical assistance, speakers also called for medium- and long-term initiatives, including new partnerships with governments, commercial investors and neighbouring sectors such as agriculture, education and health, carefully designed demand-side subsidies and result-based financing programmes.

While the pandemic is reversing decades of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, the energy access sector stands ready to contribute to a lasting recovery for communities and economies. By improving access to reliable electricity, modern appliances and clean cooking solutions, the sector is helping to power health clinics, reduce air pollution, create and retain jobs, and support livelihoods. With its proven track record of improving the lives of at least 470 million people, the energy access sector has a key role to play in ensuring economic security and bolstering communities’ resilience during the ongoing pandemic and future crises. The current crisis is also a real chance to transition into a future where a resilient and diverse energy sector, with a healthy mix of international and domestic actors including SMEs as well as financiers, delivers clean and affordable energy to domestic, social and productive users.

The sector can, however, only live up to this essential role if businesses and their consumers receive the support they need right now. This includes grant and debt funding for relief and recovery, as well as direct or indirect support to consumers. Indeed, the summit featured several relief and recovery mechanisms spearheaded by committed donors and investors. However, it is evident that more is needed, particularly for local, smaller and medium-sized businesses serving last-mile customers. These companies have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and, due to their size and funding requirements, may be unable to access other relief mechanisms.

Leading industry representatives thus continue to look for new partnerships with donors, investors and governments to reduce the plight of businesses and consumers. Only if the sector receives this support will it be in a strong position to help build back better.

Global Smart Energy Summit
18-19 August 2020

The Australian Smart Energy Council will be holding a free online Global Smart Energy Summit from 18-19 August 2020.

The Summit, which will be delivered in partnership with Zoom, will feature international and Australian political, business, environmental and renewable energy leaders outlining how to tackle the economic crisis and the climate crisis at the same time.

The CEO of SolarPower Europe, Walburga Hemetsberger, will be a keynote speaker on 18 August.

For more information and registration, go to

EU PVSEC – Registration in full swing

The registration for the EU PVSEC 2020 is still open! Get your ticket now and join us at Europe’s biggest PV and solar energy conference and exhibition. Benefit from group booking discounts and save up to 20 percent on your ticket price.  


Why should you attend?

Learn about the latest research, technologies and applications and connect to PV experts around the globe. Be part of engaging discussions around the economic and political framework as the future of photovoltaics continues to be shaped by public and industry efforts.

Experience a powerful online platform with around 1000 designated live presentations, Parallel Events and virtual industry showrooms.

Profit from a conference programme selected by the EU PVSEC Scientific Committee, coordinated by the European Commission Joint Research Center, consisting of over 240 renownend PV experts.

Our plenary sessions will cover these highly interesting topics:
Innovations in PV Technologies (Monday)
Innovations for PV industry and deployment (Wednesday)
PV in the energy system (Friday)

Don’t miss out on the rest of our oral and visual presentations, Parallel Events, industry presentations and our networking lounges that will let you connect to fellow PV enthusiasts.

Learn more about our conference platform and its features.

Join us at the EU PVSEC 2020 and be part of a global PV community!

KEY ENERGY - 3-6 November 2020 - Rimini Expo Center

KEY ENERGY is an international exhibition and conference showcasing technologies, services and integrated solutions that promote and accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral economy – the main aim of the Green Deal, the strategic plan for sustainable growth launched by the European Union.


  • Renewable energy
  • Storage and solutions for distributed power generation
  • Energy efficiency applied to industry and building
  • Cogeneration, trigeneration, micro-cogeneration
  • Sustainable City: digital, electric and circular
  • Sustainable mobility

KEY ENERGY is Europe’s comprehensive event comprising renewable energy, energy storage systems, energy efficiency, urban regeneration, sustainable mobility, lighting and smart grids.
A wide range of conferences make Key Energy a must-attend event in terms of training and professional updating, focusing on:

  • Emerging markets and international contexts
  • New business tools (PPAs energy communities, market design)
  • Technological innovation and market trends
  • Energy integration models
  • Regulatory framework of the energy sector, development opportunities and critical issues

KEY ENERGY is not only a showcase, but also an opportunity for energy professionals to meet and share their knowledge with the sector’s key players, as well as benefit from updates and training.



  • 400attendees
  • + 65events, including conferences, workshops and training courses
  • +500speakers



  • WIND

Wind turbines for on- and off-shore, floating wind technology, components, energy producers, solutions for revamping and re-powering the existing park, O&M, Asset and finance, Developers. In collaboration with ANEV (Italy’s National Association of Wind Energy).


Photovoltaics, inverters, thermodynamic solar, components, solutions for O&M&P (revamping and re-powering), energy storage technologies, smart grids.


Cogeneration, trigeneration, micro-cogeneration, geothermal energy and heat pumps, digitalisation and energy management systems, ESCO, EPC contractors, energy trading.  


Systems and technologies for digitalisation, smart cities, electric and integrated mobility, efficient lighting, security, risk management, IoT, smart building, utilities.

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