There is growing momentum for solar manufacturing in Europe – with the recent letter from Ministers from Austria, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, and Spain calling for solar to be considered as a strategic value chain and receive support under COVID-19 recovery packages. Earlier this week, a letter signed by 90 organisations from the European solar sector urged for solar PV manufacturing and R&D to be at the core of the Green Deal.
The “Solar Manufacturing Accelerator” will be coordinated by SolarPower Europe’s Industrial Strategy Workstream, and is open to all companies and organisations interested in developing or partnering on solar manufacturing projects. The platform will support such projects by identifying partners and reaching out to financial investors, with an overall goal of increasing the number of solar PV manufacturing projects in Europe, and contributing to the success of the European Green Deal.
Rytis Kėvelaitis, Vice Minister at Ministry of Energy of Lithuania, commented: “The European Green Deal without a solar value chain in Europe is not sustainable, if we want to achieve not only climate goals, but also bring significant economic benefits to Europeans. Joint efforts to launch a solar manufacturing hub in Europe need initiatives like the ‘Solar Manufacturing Accelerator’. This will create new opportunities in terms of economic growth, job creation and innovation in Europe, as well as investments in R&D.”
Dr. Christian Westermeier, Chairman of SolarPower Europe’s Industrial Strategy Workstream, said: “With the launch of the ‘Solar Manufacturing Accelerator’, SolarPower Europe’s Industrial Strategy Workstream aims to demonstrate the immense contribution of solar PV manufacturing to the European Green Deal, through innovative and cutting-edge products that will create thousands of highly-skilled jobs in Europe. The ambition of the EU Green Deal building on PV as one of the strategic pillars needs to be translated into an Industrial Strategy for European solar manufacturing. For the revival of the PV manufacturing supply chain in Europe, it is important that the EU Commission and the member states support European companies with easier access to globally-competitive financing conditions, and through enabling the appropriate economic framework to run a successful operation.”
Gunter Erfurt, CEO of Meyer Burger, said: “Meyer Burger has recently launched an initiative to revitalise solar PV manufacturing in Europe at GW scale using our advanced PV technology. The ‘Solar Manufacturing Accelerator’ is a novel way to support European companies taking manufacturing projects forward, that can boost the EU green economy and increase energy security on the continent. This is the perfect time to re-establish a thriving solar PV manufacturing industry in Europe, which can play a key role in revitalising our economies after the coronavirus pandemic with future-oriented technologies designed to combat the climate crisis. Now, what we urgently need to make it happen, is the right policy framework and the right incentives to allow European solar PV manufacturing to truly take off.”
Eric Scotto, CEO of Akuo, said: “The EU is writing today its history for the next 30 years. It is of strategic importance to re-industrialise the EU with solar manufacturing capacities. Akuo, through its Sunstyle International sub-branch, is producing in France innovative and aesthetic solar tiles which embody the next generation of solar generation. With this new initiative led by SolarPower Europe, we will align all forces and demonstrate that the EU is in the starting blocks to repower our industry.”
Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe, commented: “The European Commission recently presented its new Industrial Strategy, which acknowledges the need for a more strategic approach to renewable energy industries. With the ‘Solar Manufacturing Accelerator’ we aim to showcase the vast potential of solar PV manufacturing in Europe, and provide the appropriate industrial and political ecosystem needed to bring these projects forward. European solar manufacturers are already leading in innovative solar technologies, such as heterojunction cells, perovskite tandem cells, grid-connected technologies, and battery storage systems. We aim to demonstrate the breadth of these cutting-edge technologies ahead of the launch of the European Commission’s ‘Industrial Forum’ in September 2020.”