European Photovoltaic Sector Proposes its recommendations to Boost Europe's Industry Leadership

(PresseBox) ( Ljubljana, )
Under the Slovenian Presidency, the European Photovoltaic Technology Platform presented, at its Annual General Meeting, its first recommendations on the objectives for the future "Solar Europe Initiative" of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan). Janez Poto nik, European Commissioner for Science and Research, welcomed the proposal from the photovoltaic (PV) sector and encouraged the Industry to further discuss the ways in which to implement its ambitious targets.

Two days after the incident at the Slovenian Krsko nuclear plant, The European Photovoltaic Technology Platform (EUPVTP) recalled the environmentally-friendly and danger-free nature of the solar PV technology.

The meeting allowed the platform to formulate its views on the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) that was presented on 22 November 2007 by the European Commission underlining the lack of funding and coordination of EU energy research. Among other elements, the SET Plan proposed to set up several European Industrial Initiatives (EII), including a Solar Europe Initiative (SEI). EII should be industry led, boost research and innovation, accelerate deployment of technology and deliver progress beyond business as usual.

The sector, via the EUPVTP, has unanimously formulated the objectives that should be pursued by the SEI to significantly contribute to the fulfilment of the 2020 targets.

1. Solar PV Electricity should cover al least 3% of the Electricity Demand in Europe by 2020. This would represent approximately 100 GWp of installed photovoltaic capacity.

2. Solar PV electricity should reach grid parity by 2020 in most of Europe. This will depend largely on constantly decreasing the cost of PV systems, and from the future evolution of electricity prices.

3. Ensure European Industry leadership and a predominant worldwide position.

In order to meet these objectives, significant efforts will be made on:

1. Preparing the industry for a Multi Giga Watt production, inter alia in accelerating the process of technology transfer "from labs to commercial products".

2. Create and develop the market conditions in order to be able to integrate the Multi Giga Watt production.

3. Provide the sector with an appropriate human resources base. Ensure enough skilled and qualified people (Engineers, Installers, project managers, etc.) by fostering training and education.

4. Develop communications and awareness on solar PV electricity.

Commissioner Poto nik, on closing the Annual General Meeting, talking about climate change and low carbon technologies, said: "The problem is not the lack of solutions; it is the lack of time. We need to build more knowledge, the "raison d'être" of the SET Plan to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies beyond Business as Usual". He concluded: "You the PV Sector are the future in Europe, which is bright and sunny "

The EU PV Technology Platform, together with the European industry represented by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, will concentrate in the coming months on further elaborating the activities and structure of the Solar Europe Initiative.

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