Thursday 11th May (Brussels, BELGIUM): On 10 and 11 May, around 150 participants attended the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) conference in Brussels.
The conference highlighted how research and innovation, in connection with a dedicated set of policy and financing measures, can be one of the decisive factors in the resurgence of a European solar supply chain. With an exceptionally strong solar R&D landscape, it is essential to leverage existing European R&D resources and know-how to advance these technologies. During the conference, representatives from industry, academia, and policy, shared their views on the challenges and opportunities of strengthening the European solar PV supply chain
The conference explored the role of solar technology and innovation as a key aspect of bringing solar PV manufacturing back to Europe. It featured four panel discussions on Global solar manufacturing developments; European supply chain competitiveness; The European pipeline of R&D and innovation; and Environmental as well as commercial sustainability.
Lukasz Kolinski, Head of Unit of the Europeans Commission Directorate for Energy, opened the 2023 ETIP PV Conference, emphasising the need for a European approach to successfully deliver the resurgence of a domestic solar supply chain. He highlighted that: "The EU is now finalising negotiations on the Renewable Energy Directive, with a binding 42.5% renewable energy target, and a target for innovative technologies - a doubling of the current share of renewables in 8 years. These are important steps to direct industry and investors, and provide predictability."
Panel discussions at the conference also emphasised the need for greater ambition, especially for research and innovation. Otherwise, the EU solar PV sector is at risk of falling behind by other regions. Rutger Schlatmann, Head of the Solar Energy division at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, and ETIP PV Chairman, commented: “The European manufacturing and equipment industry has always been built on a very strong R&I infrastructure. Now more than ever, Europe will need to invest heavily to mark its position in this very fast-moving and highly competitive technology.”
Opening Day 2 of the conference,Rosalinde van der Vlies, Clean Planet Director in the European Commission, remarked: “EU programmes like Horizon Europe will allow Europe to lead in solar PV research and innovation. However, we also need a quicker transfer from Lab-to-Fab testing, in order to really capitalise on European research results.”
The conference highlighted the strong European solar PV R&I landscape. However, greater investments in R&I are required to successfully support the growth of the European solar industry in the future, as highlighted in the ETIP PV White paper on PV Manufacturing in Europe, which was published during the Conference.Concluding the conference, Peter Fath, CEO of RCT Solutions, chair of the ETIP PV Industry Working Group and one of the ETIP PV Conference 2023 Chairs stated that: “The competitiveness cost of PV manufacturing in Europe is an issue that we can overcome. The main challenge is the lack of a well-established value chain in Europe.”
Overall, this year’s conference provided a valuable platform for exchanging and shaping the key topics of the European solar PV industry. Reflecting on the conference, Delfina Muñoz, Senior Research at INES and ETIP PV Conference Chair, noted: “Is Europe too late for EU PV manufacturing? We need to wake up, and create a European PV manufacturing ecosystem not only profitable, but also socially and environmentally sustainable.”
For further information please contact:
Rania Fki, ETIP PV Secretariat (email@example.com)