ETIP Photovoltaics


1. To support research programmes/project topics for S-E aspects of high PV/RES penetration

in energy supply of a world with electrified sec- tors (sector coupling) throughout the diversity of Europe’s regions.

Europe is ahead of a huge increase of PV deployment, therefore social scientific research is needed for the identification of the existing and potential stakeholder which can help to boost the implementation: not the technical potential but societal potential (existing communities, regions under crisis/change, self-consumption campaigns to reduce fuel poverty, companies with decarbonisation strate- gies etc.) will be needed to reach European goals.

Collaborative research formats (such as sand boxes or liv- ing labs) between stakeholders (private/ commercial investors, installers, municipal/regional planning authorities, grid operators etc.) are needed to develop simplified designs of reg- ulations with mitigation of bottlenecks, to identify factors increasing the attractiveness for implementation, and extract and disseminate findings on a European level.

PV is a technology that will play a key technological role in achiev- ing great and complex challenges such those planned by the Green Deal or the strategic mis- sion already defined by the EC “100 Climate-neutral Cities by 2030 – by and for the Citizens”. Exploring how photovoltaic energy - decentralized, close to people and clean – is advisable as it can contribute to the promotion of holistic behavioural changes towards such big objec- tives.

2. Engage / Fund (all education levels):

To develop a more responsible approach towards a major integration among the European stake- holders and, between key actors and our society, for an efficient and effective deployment of photo- voltaic energy.

Collaborative research formats (such as sand boxes or living labs) between stakeholders (private/ commercial inves- tors, installers, municipal/regional planning authorities, grid operators etc.) are needed to develop simplified designs of regulations with mitigation of bottlenecks, to identify factors increasing the attractiveness for implementation, and extract and disseminate findings on a European level.

Citizens, Member States, Regions and Cities need to encourage a more responsible engagement looking for an active role of citizens, consumers, end-users, energy communities, etc... as a key piece/element in contributing to the sustain- able energy transition (including PV expansion) and social acceptance. As commented in (1) this engagement and citizen science should go from direct collaborations with researchers to target some current research questions, to citizen science actions devoted, in example, to getting/acquiring data for better shaping the European energy policies and steering the tran- sition. It is also urgent to consider and address European citizens’ real needs, expectations and worries related to PV (2). Moreover, specific engagement for young generations, not only children but also those who start becoming independent and can make strategic decisions from scratch, should be promoted as change driving forces. In return to these engagements, it must be ensured that citizens acquire improved skills (lifelong learning) to act as ambassa- dors contributing to the expansion of PV technology in the energy transition.

The energy transition (including expansion of PV) will create new jobs and at the same time we need to take care for an alternative for the people working in fossil fuel sector. In order to get their social acceptance, they need to find new jobs if we replace fossil energy with PV otherwise they will be against the clean energy transition. Therefore, a very important topic is training and education and transferring skilled personnel from one industry/sector to another for both high level jobs but also for lower level jobs that do not require high level education. It is fundamental to gain overall social acceptance. This applies to the whole chain of PV and even more to the sectors that will be diminished or even abandoned. RES are not taken seriously into account by politicians, but due to union pres- sure, coal workers are taken into account. We know from analysis that RES can create much more jobs than coal and that there is almost no job generation in the oil and gas industry since it is highly automatized. The Spanish Government has decided to support coal regions to phase out from coal by funding transition to alternative economic activities. One option that is under discussion is creating auctions to install PV power plants in these areas.

In the last decade, RES energy education programs have been implemented for university students, especially considering PV application from technical and economical point of views. Courses and training periods have also been launched for technicians and young people in technical institutes. Technical and, above all, practical preparation in this area is, in fact, deci- sive for facilitating young people’s introduction into the world of work.

The challenging goal for next years should consist in continuous learning approaches imple- mented in educational curricula involving pupils population since primary school. The idea is to implement educational programmes able to develop, in young generations, a mindset oriented towards the rational use of energy, the energy transition, the aware RES perception and the environment conscious respect.

The goal is to make young people accustomed to the use of these technologies so that, as adults, they have an “intrinsic” propensity to adopt and use RES technical solutions. As digital natives are accustomed to using digital technologies, “RES” natives should have a strong pro- pensity for these technologies and their applications.

As a tool for citizens in the energy transition, which are funded by citizens, also enabling the participation of citizens in the energy transition. We need demon- stration projects, how can we make cooperatives/make things work; which can be replicated. Living labs are a possibility for that also on different levels (target groups) → Smart Cities Initiative and European Bauhaus Initiative

(SET plan /ETIP PV / energy agencies)