Read about SolarPower Europe’s activities in the past month and learn the latest news on the policy front. If you have comments or would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please contact Milena Koot, Communications Advisor at SolarPower Europe.
Editorial: SolarPower Summit,our 35th anniversary and King Solar!
As the dust settles from the SolarPower Summit, we can look back on an excellent and unprecedented event.
Following safety protocol due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time ever the Summit was held online. The SolarPower Europe team worked hard to ensure an innovative, immersive, and interactive experience for all participants. With over 2,000 attendees and a week’s worth of dynamic presentations and high-level speakers such as Kadri Simson, Energy Commissioner, Fatih Birol, Executive Director of IEA and many more, the SolarPower Summit demonstrated how solar is set to play a leading role in transitioning Europe to a climate-neutral energy system.
On Day 3 of the Summit, we celebrated SolarPower Europe’s 35th anniversary with some very special guests, including Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, and Bertrand Piccard, Initiator and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation. You can watch this interview on our YouTube channel here.
The celebration was a time for us to look back with pride on Europe’s solar achievements, and also a time to look forward, to the many opportunities and challenges that we will face. Indeed, we are now at the beginning of a new decade, a defining decade for our technology – and a defining decade for climate action. Solar is a key solution to address many challenges of our time – from energy poverty, climate mitigation, and the clean energy transition. This is why we are already calling it a “solar decade”, in which we will work hard towards our central aim: to ensure that more energy is generated by solar than any other energy source by 2030.
In fact, during the opening session of the Summit, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Dr Fatih Birol, shared exclusive data from the IEA’s then-forthcoming ‘World Energy Outlook 2020’ that showed solar to become the largest power source in Europe – in terms of capacity – by 2025. The IEA World Energy Outlook 2020, published on 13 October, notes that solar offers the “cheapest electricity in history”, leading Dr Birol, to note that “solar [is] becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets”.
And in line with solar’s coronation as “king” of electricity markets, SolarPower Europe is very happy to reveal its new logo and identity to the world. The new design and vision captures the innovation, ambition, and optimism that is at the heart of our association. Take a look at our new look, here.
We are convinced that solar will lead the transition – no other technology is as versatile, job-intensive, or popular. Solar will play a major role in re-shaping the world for the better, and for ensuring a clean and just energy future for all Europeans. The solar decade has just begun – long live King Solar!
Highlight: RE-Source 2020 is going virtual!
The best-selling RE-Source annual event is being transformed this year into a week of knowledge and experience sharing, inspiring key notes and B2B networking. And all of this will be available online so that everyone interested in PPAs and renewable energy procurement, will be able to learn and do business.
Whether you are an experienced buyer or seller, or new to this sphere, this event will have the right content for you. Each day will be customised to the differing needs and interests of our participants, and it will be up to you to choose and attend the most relevant bits.
Be part of the growing community of green energy buyers and suppliers. Get inspired, understand the opportunities, learn from the experiences of others, and succeed to power your business by green electricity, to gain a competitive advantage and grow your company in a sustainable way.
Five days of an exceptional online programme:
Day 1: Get inspired, follow key corporate talks where industry representatives will share their experiences, challenges and opportunities with green energy procurement
Day 2: Meet experts, people that can answer any question on PPAs and RES you may have. Don’t miss the chance to get in touch with the RE-Source team
Day 3: Learn about corporate strategies for green energy procurement for different demand profiles, from independent bookstores to energy-intensive steel manufacturing.
Day 4: Learn how to procure clean electricity, build on the general ideas from day 3 and get stuck into the more technical details for negotiating deals and demonstrating your positive impact.
Day 5: Contemplate the future and be involved in discussions about how corporates can reduce their impact on the environment further…
Learn more here
New reports from SolarPower Europe: European Market Outlook for Residential Battery Storage & Agri-PV: how solar enables the clean energy transition in rural areas
During the SolarPower Summit, SolarPower Europe launched two new reports, focusing on residential battery storage and Agri-PV.
SolarPower Europe’s new European Market Outlook for Residential Battery Storage provides a detailed analysis of the market of residential battery energy storage systems (BESS) across the continent and forecasts capacity for 2020–2024.
This revealed some stimulating findings, showing that residential storage is a rapidly expanding market:
- In 2019, residential battery storage saw a huge leap in annual installed capacity: with 57% growth compared to the previous year
- Limited COVID-19 impacts on the market result in 810 MWh of installations anticipated for 2020, followed by a return to two-digit growth in 2021
- Only 7% of European residential PV is coupled with battery storage, representing significant untapped market potential
Download the report here
SolarPower Europe also launched a new briefing paper Agri-PV: how solar enables the clean energy transition in rural areas , that focuses on boosting the development of agricultural photovoltaics (“Agri-PV”) in rural areas in Europe. Agri-PV refers to the smart combination of agricultural infrastructure with a solar PV installation:
- Agri-PV installations can simultaneously provide shade and protection for crops, if installed directly above them, fostering stable crop yield symbiotically with electric PV yield.
- Its potential in the EU is immense. If Agri-PV were deployed on only 1% of Europe’s arable land, its capacity would be over 700 GW, generating more than 25% of the EU’s current electricity consumption.
- Based on this synergy between key objectives of the European Union’s policy frameworks for the agri-food sector and Agri-PV installations, our Agri-PV brief synthesises key actions to prioritise next.
Download the briefing paper here
Solar is crowned “king of the world’s electricity markets” in new IEA report
The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its flagship World Energy Outlook 2020, modelling different growth scenarios for the future global energy system. Central to the report is the revelation that solar offers the “cheapest electricity in history”, leading Executive Director of the IEA, Dr Fatih Birol, to note that “solar [is] becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets. Based on today’s policy settings, it is on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022.”
Here are the highlights of the report:
- Within 5 years, solar will be the number one electricity capacity in Europe, if Europe follows its net zero goal.
- Within 5 years, renewables led by solar will overtake coal as the primary global electricity source
- The main scenario has 43% more solar output by 2040 than it expected in 2018, due to new analysis showing that solar is 20-50% cheaper than previously thought
The low cost of solar is explicitly noted as driving the global demand for renewables. In fact, solar is cheaper than any power source ever before. The new report backtracks on the IEA’s 2019 prognosis for solar, which underestimated its cost by 20-50%. The main model forecasts that renewables, led by solar, are set to overtake coal in global electricity demand by 2025.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report shows that solar and renewables provided the energy resilience, achieving the only growth during that period in the entire energy system. The report is clear that solar as the “king” of renewables, will play a leading role in the world’s future energy system.
Read the full report here.
National Energy and Climate Plans: A solar-powered energy system by 2030?
During the SolarPower Summit, SolarPower Europe published its assessment of EU member states’ National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs), the framework for outlining climate and energy targets, and policies and measures to reach the 32% renewable energy target by 2030. NECPs are crucial for the European solar sector as each member state sets specific targets for solar deployment and defines how they plan to achieve it.
SolarPower Europe has assessed the 27 NECPs across 7 different areas that are key to solar deployment: solar targets, auctions, administrative procedures, prosumers, power purchase agreements, flexibility and storage, and grid integration.
The National Energy and Climate Plans confirm the bright future for solar in Europe, with 209 GW of solar PV capacity set to be added by 2030, or 19 GW per year. Solar will continue to be the most-installed energy generation technology in Europe between 2020 and 2030, together with wind energy.
However, the full potential for solar in Europe has yet to be reached, and investments are necessary to unleash solar on a larger scale. The total figures from the NECPs are still below SolarPower Europe’s estimated market developments under a Medium Scenario in its latest Global Market Outlook, which noted an average of close to 24 GW of solar added annually in Europe by 2024.
SolarPower Europe has developed an interactive NECP map where you can review different aspects of each member state’s plan and read our assessment. Access the map here.
New EU project to increase performance and reliability of solar PV components and systems
A new EU project, TRUST-PV will support the development of O&M-friendly and grid-friendly solar PV components and solutions in large portfolios of distributed and utility scale PV.
The TRUST-PV innovations will be tested and demonstrated from fab to field, with all data gathered along the value chain flowing into a decision support system platform that uses AI and is based on and beyond Industry 4.0 concepts. TRUST-PV is industrially driven, gathering 20 organisations from across the entire solar PV value chain.
The TRUST-PV consortium is comprised of the following project partners: 3E, Above Surveying, BayWa r.e., DSM, Enel Green Power, Eurac Research, FOSS Research Centre for Sustainable Energy, Huawei, Imec, Inaccess, INNOSEA, PVcase, Saidea, Solarcentury, SolarPower Europe, Solar Monkey, Raptech, Reuniwatt, TU Delft, TÜV Rheinland Energy GmbH. The TRUST-PV project is 4 years in duration and over €12m in grant value.
Join our free webinar next week: How a Digital-First Approach Can Improve Utility-Scale Solar Project Economics
Digital technologies are transforming the energy landscape as they are key enablers to boost the economics of utility-scale solar.
In this webinar, we will explore digital tools for project developers to quantitatively inform portfolio decisions and therefore ensure project bankability and realize their returns. By leveraging modern cloud computing and data analytics, for example, leading solar software platforms can generate project layouts for utility-scale projects of any size on complex terrain in minutes. In this webinar, we will discuss this and other approaches to boost the economics of utility-scale solar.
Merce Labordena, Senior Policy Advisor, SolarPower Europe
- Olivia McShea, Head of Sales and Marketing, PVComplete
- Miroslav Petkov, Team Leader – Solar Design, AboWind
Summit session on “Green Deal diplomacy” highlights solar opportunities in emerging markets
On Day 1 of the first-ever virtual SolarPower Summit, in a session coordinated with GET.invest, a European programme which mobilises investments in decentralised renewable energy, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria, the topic centred on “Green Deal diplomacy & EU instruments to promote energy investment in developing markets”.
This session brought together a panel of leading experts including Carla Montesi, Director, DG DEVCO, European Commission; Eric Kaleja, Vice President Energy Africa/Asia, DEG – German Investment and Development Bank; Dorien Lobeek, Fund Manager, FMO – Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank; Jean-Denis Collin, Regional Investment Manager – Head of West Investment Desk, ElectriFI; Michael Franz, Team Leader, GET.invest; Stefano Mantellassi, Vice President Energy Solutions Initiatives, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eni – Energy Solutions Department.
The presentations centred on concrete initiatives aimed at fostering renewable energy development in emerging markets, highlighting the challenges of the COVID-19 context. The experts presented various European support instruments created to help European businesses develop projects and to support a green recovery in Europe’s partner countries in the spirit of the European Green Deal.
Watch the “Green Deal diplomacy & EU instruments to promote energy investment in developing markets” here
News from SolarPower Europe members
3E: IZEN signing up for SynaptiQ, 3E’s asset management and performance optimization software
Akuo: Akuo Energy Afrique, HBG Holding and Nour Energy sign a purchasing agreement with STEG for a 10 MWp solar project in Tunisia
Axpo Service AG: Winter power from houses facades
First Solar: JP Energie Environnement Selects Lowest Carbon First Solar Modules for Labarde Project
Fronius International GmbH: The Fronius GEN24 Plus hybrid inverter is now available
MENAPY: 300 cars in the shade thanks to solar carports with bi-facial modules and EV charging
Renewable Energy Insurance Broker: REIB have insured more than 10% of the total portfolio installed in Poland in 2020
SOLARWATT: SOLARWATT collaborates with Easy Roof to provide building-integrated PV and smart EV charging