SolarPower Europe: PV capacity additions in the EU28 could double by 2020 (Credit: Pixel2013 / Pixabay)
Expanding the EU-wide solar headcount to 300,000 jobs by 2030 could see the industry supply 20% of the bloc’s power demand by 2030, SolarPower Europe has said.
Speaking at the trade body’s summit in Brussels, representatives took turns to propose a supply-side industrial strategy that would have the EU build at least 30 million solar roofs by 2030.
The strategy, to be fully fleshed out by a paper later this month, is set to contain proposals on how to do away with what SolarPower Europe president Christian Westermeier described as “barriers to utility-scale solar”.
The EU, Westermeier said in comments circulated on Thursday, must “eliminate limitations on plant sizes where they currently exist and allow direct access to the transmission, not only the distribution grid.”
The bloc, he added, should work to bolster the uptake of those technologies – BIPV, floating solar – it has been a "frontrunner" of, as well as look into non-power uses for solar through for instance solar-based sector coupling.
Her colleague and SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger argued the solar push must be supported through an “ambitious investment plan”. InvestEU and other programmes could help channel private money towards manufacturing, development and innovation, she added.
13.5GW and 16.8GW of EU solar by 2019, 2020
The calls came as the association shed light on the scale of European solar to date, as well as growth projections going forward. A presentation shown at its two-day Brussels summit predicted EU28 states will add 13.5GW and 16.8GW of new solar in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Should they come to pass, the capacity boosts this year and next would see the EU28 PV developers outperform 2018; a year which, the association said this week, already marked a “dramatic improvement” for the industry.
Estimates from late February had already shown the EU28 bloc added 8GW in PV capacity in 2018, a 36% hike on the 5.9GW installed throughout 2017. The year-on-year growth rate outpaced that of the world as a whole (99.1GW to 104.1GW, a 5% rise) and the broader European continent, including Turkey (9.2GW to 11GW, a 20% rise).
Over the past few weeks alone, several EU governments have added to the momentum by pressing forward with high-reaching PV goals. Spain, Portugal and Poland are working towards 2030 capacity milestones of 37GW, 8.1GW-9.9GW and 10.2GW, respectively.
SolarPower Europe’s recent lobbying efforts have sought to revive EU large-scale manufacturing. Its calls for a 5GW boost to manufacturers last December came after the sector was stung by an EU decision – backed by SolarPower Europe – to scrap trade barriers for Chinese PV modules.
SolarPower Europe will fully release its strategy at the European Commission’s Clean Energy Industrial Forum on 18 March 2019
Europe's largest gathering of solar developers & EPCs - Unbound by government subsidies and deadlines, we will spend an insightful two days of collaboration and innovation looking at how PV development is evolving.
Understanding bifacial’s true potential: technology innovation and technical bankability of bifacial
The deployment of bifacial PV technology is growing rapidly. It has proven to be the most effective solution to reduce levelised energy costs (LCOE) and increase the Investment Rate of Return (IRR) of PV systems, offering substantially improved energy yield compared to the use of standard mono-facial modules. Even though the concept is not new, it has been a niche technology for many years with uncertainties in predicting performance and optimizing installations. Today, bifacial technology is becoming mainstream, with capacity available at the multi-gigawatt scale and with corresponding global deployment of project pipelines. Join this webinar, presented by Andrea Viaro, as he discusses the award-winning Swan bifacial module with transparent backsheet from DuPont, its features, benefits and differences vs. standard glass-glass modules. Jinko Solar’s new bifacial technology innovations will also be highlighted, specifically covering profitability in deployment at utility-scale PV power plants. Andrea will be joined by Dr.Lars Podlowski who will give a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of bifacial PV technology, with a special focus on benefits and risks industry buyers and investors should pay attention to.
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability.