Next generation solar PV technologies in Europe: 10 shovel-ready projects presented to European policymakers at Solar Manufacturing Accelerator Conference

9 July 2020, Brussels – With strategic partners IPVF, ESMC, ETIP-PV, and VDMA, SolarPower Europe organised the first virtual conference of the ‘Solar Manufacturing Accelerator’. The initiative, launched in May by SolarPower Europe, aims to accelerate the deployment of solar PV manufacturing projects in Europe to strengthen European leadership in renewable technologies and contribute to the reindustrialisation of the continent, supporting a European green recovery.

The conference included 10 presentations from shovel-ready European solar manufacturing projects, featuring manufacturing and innovation of cells, modules and wafers, which represents more than 20,000 new jobs in Europe. The projects were presented to European Ministers, EU policymakers, and stakeholders.

Piotr Czopek, Director of Renewable Energy Department of the Ministry of Climate, Republic of Poland, said: “COVID-19 has shown us that we are vulnerable to logistical problems with industrial shut-downs in countries outside of the EU. In order to ensure that any kind of crisis will not threaten European manufacturing, we need to strengthen industries within the EU, including building a strong, innovative, and cost-effective solar PV industry. Poland is ready to step up its solar ambition and we now hope to create a web of producers within EU to achieve the European Green Deal’s goals, with a strong position of the Polish PV industry.”

Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economics, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, said: “Already today, solar energy is an essential source of green energy in our region. In order to decarbonise our energy system and industry, we need to accelerate the roll-out of solar projects as soon as possible. Innovation is a driving force in making solar panels more cost-competitive and scalable. We have the interest, need, and resources to make this happen and thus seek close partnerships for the next generation of PV manufacturing on the European level, too.”

Roch Drozdowski-Strehl, CEO of IPVF, said: “We are very enthusiastic to work with the ‘Solar Manufacturing Accelerator’ platform and put forth concrete initiatives that positively accompany the solar PV strategic value chain in its future expected growth. We strongly believe that scaling up research and innovation investments is key to fostering the development of solar manufacturing in Europe and untapping its full potential, from both an environmental and economic point of view. IPVF and the 120+ actors of the ‘Solar Europe Now’ coalition are committed to developing cutting-edge industrial production processes and breakthrough technologies that pave the way for the strategic take-off of the solar industry in Europe.”

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