Photovoltaics: Engine of European Innovation and Development
AMSTERDAM, 19 June 2012 - More than 150 high level stakeholders of photovoltaic
solar energy (PV) gathered in Amsterdam at the 7th General Assembly of the
European Photovoltaic Technology Platform to discuss the great opportunities and
challenges of this booming sector. The theme of the meeting was: “Photovoltaics:
Engine of European Innovation and Development”, emphasising that in spite of the
economic crisis and fierce global competition, PV can make great contributions to
the European energy system and economy. The Platform chose Amsterdam to host
this high-level event in the Netherlands, one of the first countries in Europe where
grid parity has been reached for households. Grid parity is expected to kick off
large self-sustained markets for PV.
On the occasion of the General Assembly of the European Photovoltaic (PV)
Technology Platform more than 150 members of the Platform and other selected
stakeholders gathered to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the European
PV industry sector, related to manufacturing as wel as large-scale deployment.
Innovative approaches, the transition from incentive-driven to self-sustained
markets for PV, as well as long term scenarios were analyzed by industry and
research representatives. During these challenging times PV continues to largely
contribute to innovation and economic development in Europe and it wil do so in
the future if supported by adequate policies and measures.
Ed Buddenbaum, a high level representative from the Dutch Ministry of Economic
Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation opened the General Assembly, stressing the
importance of the PV Industry for the Netherlands in terms of creation of
employment and the transition to a sustainable energy system. He showed how PV
fits very well in the new Dutch innovation policy, based on selection of economic
Top Sectors and the establishment of so-cal ed Innovation Contracts (large public-
One of the most valuable achievements of the PV Platform, the recently updated
Strategic Research Agenda (SRA2) has been presented by Jef Poortmans, PV
Program Director at IMEC. Published at the end of 2011, the Platform’s SRA presents
the common view of PV experts (from industry and academia) on R&D priorities to
achieve cost reduction, efficiency increase, enhanced system performance,
integration, sustainability and other targets for 2020 and beyond. Research, as a
key driver of innovation is to be further supported through funding under Horizon
2020 and research initiatives such as EMIRI (focused on innovative materials), which
were also presented in depth.
Large scale integration of PV into the grids is a priority for achieving the up to 12%
of the European electricity demand by 2020 as foreseen in the Implementation
Plan of the Solar Europe Industry Initiative. “We found an innovative solution to face
the chal enges of the large scale integration through this demonstration project.”
said Achim Woyte, R&D Manager at 3E SA, the coordinator of the MetaPV project
while presenting the major achievements of this €9.4 M initiative.
Wim Sinke, chair of the Platform, concluded the meeting by stating that large-scale
deployment of PV offers great opportunities for the European industry. This is
especial y the case in relation to intel igent and multifunctional systems for the
residential sector, but also for several other innovative forms of use.