ESMC launches EU-wide project for solar manufacturing, member states urged to join

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The initiative is open to all EU member states with the hope they will join and present their own plans to ramp up PV manufacturing in the summer. Image: Hevel

The European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) has launched an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) for PV aimed at mobilising EU member states’ support for breakthrough solar manufacturing technologies and aiding their commercialisation.

The IPCEI-PV was launched on Friday at an event in Brussels and brought together high-level representatives from the European Commission, member states and the PV manufacturing industry to explore how the process would work, the current EU manufacturing landscape and plot the next steps needed to kickstart the process.

It comes close on the heels of the EU’s new Solar Energy Strategy that laid out its plans to establish a European Solar PV Industry Alliance designed to facilitate the expansion of an industrial solar value chain in the EU that also offered explicit support for member states pooling their resources to focus on “breakthrough technologies and innovation”.

The ESMC said it supported “the other initiatives presented in the EU Solar Energy Strategy,” which has been well received by Europe’s solar sector, “including the establishment of the EU Solar PV Industry Alliance, which will map the availability of financial support, attract private investment and facilitate dialogue and matchmaking between producers and offtakers”.

It also said the IPCEI-PV framework was designed to “ensure the long-term competitiveness of the European PV manufacturing industry by mobilising EU member states support for the innovative and breakthrough PV technologies”.

At present, the IPCEI-PV framework constitutes six projects but complementary projects and agreements from across the value chain are welcome to join, the ESMC said.

It was agreed at the event that all EU member states will be invited to join the initiative during “the forthcoming weeks” with the aim of deciding and launching different programmes this summer.

Five member states – Austria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain – have already expressed their full support for the IPCEI-PV framework, while Spain has agreed to lead and coordinate the process.

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