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EDITORIAL: €300bn investment package: Empowered citizens using solar power will spur jobs and growth in the EU

Date : December 2014

By James Watson, Chief Executive Officer

European Commission President Juncker recently presented the main features of a €300bn investment package aiming to mobilise public and private investment over the next three years. Based on the creation of a new European Fund for strategic investments, the “Jobs, Growth and Investment Package” is expected to focus on high-risk investments and SMEs. In order to maximise the benefits of such investments for Europe, the new Fund must prioritise the solar sector as it will provide sustainable long term jobs, demand-side flexibility and smart distribution grids.
This would be in line with the goals of President Juncker, who has the objective to build a resilient European Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy. The €300bn investment package offers a great opportunity to support the development of demand response and distributed generation solutions like solar, empowering citizens to control, lower or earn off of their own consumption flexibility. A focus on smart distribution grids is also key to ensure flexible and efficient networks at local and regional level.

EPIA is engaging with the Commission’s services and relevant stakeholders, making sure that solar technologies are being prioritised in this initiative. Only a resilient, consumer-focused and clean energy infrastructure can improve Europe's energy independency, reduce CO2 emissions and enable consumers to control their energy bills, while stimulating employment and growth throughout the continent.

This is a great opportunity for the solar sector and EPIA will be at the forefront of ensuring that the sector is very well provided for in this multi-billion European initiative. 

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HIGHLIGHT: Solar and wind leading the energy transition

Date : December 2014

By Benjamin Fontaine, Senior Communications Advisor

Solar and wind are transforming the way we produce and consume energy, driving the ongoing global energy transition. This is good news for the climate: Both technologies will prevent the emission of 3.8 billion tons of CO2 emissions each year by 2030, and it could be much more with the right policy and market framework.

The power sector is currently responsible for more than 40% of all CO2 emissions, and about 25% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. While the share of electricity within the total global energy consumption is expected to increase, its greenhouse gas emissions must decrease sharply. Solar and wind power’s scalability, speed of deployment and plummeting costs make them the ideal choice to bring about the early emissions reductions needed to keep global mean temperature rise below 2⁰ C. 

Prices of solar and wind have dropped dramatically in the past few years thanks to rapid technology development and scale up, and this trend will continue. The International Energy Agency estimates that solar system prices have reduced by two thirds in six years in most markets, and that solar electricity prices could decrease by 65% by 2050. Solar is already competing directly with heavily subsidised conventional sources in many markets around the world.

Solar, wind and low-carbon flexible assets are at the centre of power system. Solar and wind will make a huge contribution to global CO2 emissions reduction while powering the world in a cost-effective manner. In order to facilitate the energy transition and unleash the potential of solar, global leaders need to agree on aggressive emission reduction targets, a phase out of fossil subsidies*, an effective price on CO2 emissions, and functioning electricity markets that accurately value solar energy.

Powering the world with clean and affordable energy, solar and wind are crucial to decarbonise the global power sector and effectively fight climate change. This is the message that EPIA carried at the United Nations Climate Summit, COP20, in Lima, during an official press conference jointly organised with GWEC, the Global Wind Energy Council.

*According to the IEA fossil fuel subsidies currently stand at ~110/USD/tonne CO2.

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EPIA statement on the 09 December 2014 Energy council meeting conclusions

Date : December 2014

Following the conclusions of today's Energy Council meeting, EPIA Policy Director Frauke Thies stated:

"We are delighted that Energy Ministers want to put end-consumers at the centre of the energy debate. The Council concluded today that consumers need better access to information and modern services to become active participants in the European power system. In particular, all consumers should have the right to consume or sell the green energy they produce as part of the operation of a modern European power system.

Maros Sefcovic qualified the 2020 energy and climate policies as being a 'good example of how [the EU] can achieve concrete targets.' We now look to the Commission to build on this success and develop an appropriate governance framework that will make the recently agreed 2030 targets effective in the different Member States."

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Presentations of the 03 December 2014 Policy-Communications Working Group Meeting now available

Date : December 2014
Presentations of the Policy-Communications Working Group Meeting that took place on 03 December 2014 are now available online for EPIA Members.

To access the presentation and the list of participants, click here (log in first to the Members Area of the website).

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ADVERTORIAL - Solar power forecasting: a breakthrough technology

Date : December 2014

Dealing with the intermittence of solar power will be crucial for its expansion. When the share of solar energy increases, the need for backup power to protect against a sudden loss of solar irradiation – and the costs it involves – becomes a real issue.
In this purpose, Reuniwatt combines remote sensing, big data and artificial intelligence to provide ultra-accurate production forecasts. The latter makes it feasible to integrate a much greater amount of solar energy into the electrical grid.

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) review, solar power forecasting is among the “ten breakthrough technologies of 2014”. Indeed, its potential to solve the thorny issue of intermittence has been proven through more than two decades of scientific works worldwide.

How can forecasting really be revolutionary? Admittedly, predicting meteorological evolution is not a new thing. But, as most of you may know, solar energy is intermittent because of its dependency to the evolution of the cloud cover. Traditional weather forecasting tools are insufficient to represent the cloud ceiling at the temporal and spatial scales relevant for solar energy. The recent developments in scientific and technological domains allow brand new kinds of services to be developed: solar production forecasting tools.

Reuniwatt offers these services, using technologies developed through years of research: It is one of the world’s forecasting pioneer vendors. The company offers several tools to answer the diverse needs of the energy market stakeholders: project designers, producers, utilities, grid operators…

Learn more on this subject while visiting Reuniwatt’s website.

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Energy Digital: Exclusive visibility opportunity for EPIA Members

Date : December 2014

Benjamin Fontaine, Senior Communications Advisor

EPIA has linked up with the Energy Digital magazine to produce an editorial feature on the solar sector in Europe. Following a foreword by EPIA CEO James Watson, EPIA Members have the opportunity to be profiled, showcasing their business or organisation, activities and services in the form of a company report.

Energy Digital is an online magazine which is distributed to over 365,000 individual senior industry executives - every issue focusing on UK, Europe, Africa, Middle East and North America. As an EPIA Member, there is no cost to be profiled in the magazine. Instead, Energy Digital team will ask EPIA Member’s permission to approach key suppliers and vendors to invite them share in the exposure with an advertisement for their own business.

Richard Thomas (+44 1603 217 537), Regional Director of Europe for the magazine, is responsible for this special report and might contact you shortly. We hope you will find this opportunity interesting and helpful for your business.

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PRESS RELEASE - Wind and Solar: The Energy Revolution is Happening Now

Date : December 2014

By Benjamin Fontaine, Senior Communications Advisor

There is a global revolution underway in the electricity sector, led by wind and solar. The two technologies are transforming the way we produce and consume energy, which is good news for the climate: Wind and solar will prevent the emission of 3,800 million tons of CO2 each year by 2030, and it could be much more with the right policy and market framework.

Read the Press Release here.
Read key facts and figures about solar here.

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Joint Statement on the need for positive regulatory frameworks for the deployment of solar in Europe

Date : December 2014

By Giorgia Concas, Policy Advisor

EPIA, together with 19 national renewable energy associations, has issued a Joint Statement calling on the European Commission to ensure fair and consistent regulatory frameworks in cost-effective deployment of solar photovoltaics in Europe. The associations are urging European leaders to restore confidence within the solar sector.

Read the Joint Statement here.

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EPIA statement on the European Commission €300bn investment package

Date : November 2014

Following the presentation on 26 November by Commission President Juncker of the details of the €300bn investment package, EPIA CEO Dr. James Watson stated:

"President Juncker's efforts to spur investment in Europe through the development of a public guaranteeing mechanism to drive private capital into strategic investments is a great initiative. To maximise the benefits of investments for the European economy and citizens, the new Fund must focus on innovative sectors that will provide sustainable long term jobs, such as the solar sector. This will improve Europe's energy independency, will reduce Europe's carbon emissions and enable consumers to control their energy bills. Solar and other empowering consumers' technologies must be prioritised in this initiative."

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Joint Letter on €300bn investment package

Date : November 2014

By Alexandre Roesch, Head of Regulatory Affairs

On 21 November 2014, five organisations from the European energy sector, including EPIA, sent an Open Letter calling on the European Commission to focus on empowering citizens and building smart & efficient infrastructure while achieving jobs, growth and investment in Europe and building a resilient Energy Union with forward-looking climate policy.

To read the full letter, please click here.

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Benjamin Fontaine
Benjamin Fontaine
Senior Communications Advisor
@ : b.fontaine@epia.org
T. : +32 (0)2 709 55 23

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