Today, the European Commission released the long-awaited revised Industrial Strategy to make Europe a world leader in clean energy technologies and to support the decarbonisation of critical EU industries such as cement, steel, and chemicals. The revised strategy acknowledges the significant role the solar industry will play in delivering this vision, providing an unprecedently affordable and sustainable energy supply to EU businesses to power the bulk of Europe’s climate neutral ambitions.
Solar PV, together with other renewable energy technologies, is identified as one of the 14 key industrial ecosystems for the EU. The Strategy stresses the need to scale up investments in new projects, and the importance of regaining and strengthening the EU’s competitive edge in the solar photovoltaic industry. The Commission also officially endorses the European Solar Initiative (ESI), launched by SolarPower Europe and EIT InnoEnergy in February 2021. This initiative, inspired by the industrial alliances concept, aims to redevelop a 20-GW manufacturing capacity of solar PV technologies in Europe by 2025.
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: “By 2050, solar energy could power more than 60% of Europe’s electricity generation, which makes it a strategic asset for Europe’s decarbonisation and the success of the European Green Deal. This has built momentum to reinvest in solar manufacturing capacities based on European leadership in future solar technologies. In light of this, we are absolutely delighted that the revised strategy acknowledges the importance of strengthening and regaining the EU’s competitive edge in the solar photovoltaic industry. It wis a much-awaited signal to re-ignite solar manufacturing in Europe and enable the EU to take the lead in the next generation of cutting-edge solar technologies.”
Naomi Chevillard, Senior Policy Advisor of SolarPower Europe, added: “After years of intense work with our key partners EIT InnoEnergy, ESMC, ETIP-PV, IPVF and VDMA we are thrilled that the revised industrial strategy endorses the European Solar Initiative as a critical industrial alliance to deliver Europe’s solar industrial leadership. The ESI is already working at full speed to secure first investment decisions for solar manufacturing projects in the upcoming months. This arrives at a critical moment: today at least eight GW-scale cell manufacturing projects are under development in the EU.”
The industrial strategy also recognizes that modernising and decarbonising energy-intensive industries must be a top priority, through corporate renewable sourcing and renewable hydrogen. SolarPower Europe will pursue these endeavours through its involvement in the RE-Source Platform and renewable Hydrogen Coalition.
Photo Credit: Armor