SolarPower Europe – A new start for solar representation in Europe

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For the last 30 years the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has been representing the interests of the European solar PV sector in Europe. There have been many significant achievements, not least supporting the creation of the Renewable Energy Directive, which set the scene for European solar growth, and flagship market analyses, like the annual Global Market Outlook.

Solar has itself grown over the last 30 years from an interesting hobby for scientists to a multi-billion dollar global industry. As EPIA grew it began to represent specific segments of the solar value chain, but over time has come to represent everything that the solar sector now encapsulates – manufacturers, developers, software providers, financiers, research institutes, national associations and much more. So it has been only natural that the organisation needs to evolve and represent its true make up – who we are today.

And so the idea of changing the name of the organisation was born; we wanted to have something that the members could associate with, something that was more accessible and transparent. That is how, working together with the board, we came to the idea that on the 30th anniversary of EPIA it would make sense to change the name to SolarPower Europe. Thirty years is a little more than a generation, but it is also a good time to signal change. Much has been achieved that must be built on, and our re-brand can inject the needed new dynamism and energy that can define the fortunes of our organisation for another 30 years.

The membership endorsed the name change with 100% support at the Annual General Meeting last month. So it is clear that there really was a need for this development. It reflects a sense of urgency in the European solar sector to recognise what we have to do today. We need to move solar power away from being perceived as a niche technology and make stakeholders recognise that we are already a real player in the energy system of Europe. Re-branding signals this change, as through our name we now recognise the comprehensive nature of our sector.

This also makes us fit to tackle the new challenges ahead: we are now forging the future of power in Europe, not begging for scraps. New energy systems will be built around solar and wind, with flexibility to deliver what the new energy consumers want and need. This is the purpose of SolarPower Europe, to make sure that solar is the leading contributor to the European energy system. We want to strengthen the whole European solar sector, so that all the players in the European market can grow.

With our new brand and ambition, we will tackle all the major issues impacting our sector today, while making sure that we are prepared for a future that is bright for SolarPower in Europe.

SolarPower Europe, the new name and brand for EPIA.
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