ETIP Photovoltaics

Nov. 17, 2017

In memoriam Emiliano Perezagua (1956 - 2017)

Emiliano was born in Sonseca, a small town in the province of Toledo -something he was always very proud of- in December 1956, so he reached the age of 60 years. After gaining some experience in solar thermal energy, he moved with his family to Málaga to join Isofotón in 1987. There he took charge of technology and manufacturing development in photovoltaic solar energy (PV). This was a challenge of extraordinary magnitude, as at the time there were no more than ten PV cell manufacturers in the world. Emiliano thus was a true pioneer.

Isofotón, founded in 1983, developed its own technology and machinery for PV and brought innovative products on the market, such as bifacial solar modules. Emiliano helped to build the company up and bring it to a position of European leadership in manufacturing in 2004. He had to do this quickly, exploiting his knowledge of solar thermal while learning about PV from scratch, but he was equal to the challenge.

In 2004, Emiliano was delighted to be elected chairman of the European Photovoltaic Technology Research Advisory Council (PV-TRAC), the first Europe-wide collaborative effort to develop a technology strategy for PV. He became known as an inspiring leader, as an advocate for collaboration between European countries, companies and research institutes, and for his warm personality. He lived by the principle that joining forces is essential for the rapid growth of PV and for competing successfully in the global PV race. After PV-TRAC published “A Vision for Photovoltaic Technology” in 2005, it formed the basis for the establishment of the European Photovoltaic Technology Platform (EU PV TP), and Emiliano became its first chairman. In that capacity he chaired the General Assemblies in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In 2009 he stepped down from the chairmanship, but took up the position of vice-chairman until 2014. Emiliano hosted the fifth General Assembly of the Platform in Toledo, a dream come true for himself and an unforgettable experience for all who were lucky enough to attend.

Emiliano had to face tough challenges related to the steep growth in demand for PV. In the late 2000s, the supply of raw materials was squeezed and changes in silicon wafers forced the pace of technological development. Machinery had to change rapidly while maintaining output and keeping down production costs. Emiliano was a source of inspiration and motivation for the teams in the Málaga factory. In just 6 years, Isofotón transformed from an old factory to the newest one of the Technological Park of Andalucía. Few people would have been able to withstand such pressure and generate so much admiration for their integrity.

Isofotón’s remarkable journey ended in 2009, causing Emiliano much pain. He went on to create his own company “PV Consulting” and worked for European, Asian and American companies.

Tireless as he was, and the victim, for 15 years, of a persistent lung injury, he traveled more than was recommended. In fact, he had just been vaccinated to travel to Mozambique to evaluate a solar module factory. It was not to be. He died "with his boots on".

We and the hundreds of his friends feel Emiliano’s departure as a painful void. Above all, he was a good father, husband, friend and, specially, a loving godfather. We all miss him dearly. His many friends and colleagues will never forget him.

Rest in Peace.

Collection of words in sorrow and grief by ETIP PV Members
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