By Craig Winneker, Head of Political Communications
MILAN, 8 May 2013 – The world added more than 31 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2012 – roughly the same amount as in the record-setting year of 2011 – according to a new report from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). This significant market growth came even during a period of economic crisis and industry consolidation.
By Reinhold Buttgereit, Secretary General
Winter is finally behind us, and the sun is shining in Brussels and also, I hope, wherever you are. But even in such nice weather allow me to revisit some important points from this past winter. As I mentioned in the April 2013 newsletter, EPIA Members agreed in our Annual General Meeting in March to focus on five strategic pillars that are important to the development of our sector: support policies; system integration and market design; market analysis; industrial policy and research; and sustainability. These pillars are all supported by dedicated actions and campaigns to further increase the visibility of the association.
By Craig Winneker, Head of Political CommunicationsThe world added more than 31 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2012 – roughly the same amount as in the record-setting year of 2011. This significant market growth came even during a period of economic crisis and industry consolidation.
That’s one of the main findings of EPIA’s new report, “Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-2017”, launched at Solarexpo in Milan on 8 May 2013.
The report includes PV market figures for 2012 and makes forecasts for the next five years for global and European markets. The results show clearly that Europe’s leading role in driving the global PV market is coming to an end. In 2011, Europe accounted for more than 70% of the world’s new PV installations; in 2012 this number was around 55%. In 2013 it is almost certain that the majority of new PV capacity in the world will be installed outside of Europe.
The report’s major findings include:
“The results of 2012 signal a turning point that will have profound implications in the coming years,” said EPIA President Winfried Hoffmann. “The global PV market is shifting from one driven mostly by Europe to one that also depends on countries around the world with varying degrees of solar potential and the political will to exploit it.”
Hoffmann added: “But some things will not change. Even in challenging times, the prospects going forward for solar PV – a clean, safe and infinitely renewable power source – remain solid, especially the medium- to long-term. The main questions are how and where continued PV growth will occur, and how committed policymakers are to making it happen.”
By Giorgia Concas, Policy OfficerMembers of the European Parliament and officials of the European Commission on 25 April 2013 attended EPIA’s presentation of the “Connecting the Sun: Solar photovoltaics on the road to large-scale grid integration” report and visited the Brussels premises of CORESO, the joint control centre of TSOs from Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and the UK.
By Alexandre Roesch, Head of Regulatory AffairsThe European Commission is currently reviewing its Environmental Aid Guidelines as part of the modernisation of the EU State Aid policy. EPIA responded to the related consultation paper, ahead of new proposals which are expected for mid-2013.
By Sophie Lenoir, Marketing and Communications DirectorEPIA is attending Solarexpo from 8 to 10 May 2013 in Milan, Italy. Solarexpo represents a not-to-be-missed chance for the solar industry community to develop new strategies and seize opportunities in the current transitional stage of the solar energy sector. Come and meet the EPIA team of experts at our booth: Hall 5, booth D15.
In the framework of this important event, EPIA is launching its new "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-2017". The report assesses the European and global markets for PV in 2012, and makes forecasts for the next five years. It will be presented during a press briefing and workshop on 8 May from 2.30 to 4 p.m in the Hotspot area in Hall 5, booth D15.
More information on Solarexpo is available here.
By Claire Hardy, Communications Officer
On Wednesday 19 June 2013, in the framework of the international photovoltaic (PV) Trade Fair Intersolar Europe in Munich, EPIA is organising a workshop entitled “From PV Quality to Bankability”. Focusing on PV modules, this workshop will present the state-of-the-art and discuss the challenges of the industry’s ongoing commitment to improving quality and reliability.
By Marie Latour, Senior National Policy Advisor
This document synthesises the policy support frameworks in the EU 27, Switzerland and Turkey. It includes a summary of all major types of support in place (FiT, GC), their levels and main features.
Since mid-2012 it also includes a detailed description together with a case study of existing direct consumption schemes (such as net-metering and self-consumption) in place in a series of countries. This document is updated regularly and at least quarterly.
More information is available here (Members only).
By Reinhold Buttgereit, Secretary General
The solar photovoltaic industry has always been innovative and forward-looking, and this year is no exception. Our technology is becoming mature and mainstream, and that means we have to think differently about it – not as a niche product but as a serious player in the power system.
As the voice of the global solar PV industry in Europe, EPIA has worked with our member companies and associations all along the value chain to identify challenges and set clear priorities for the coming years. At our Annual General Meeting in Brussels on 14 March 2013, we affirmed these priorities as essential to the future of our industry, underlining the need for more sustainable policy support for renewables, proper integration of solar PV into the electricity grid, and increased focus on industry innovation.
Specifically, this means we will work to:
It is clear that PV is approaching full competitiveness with other electricity sources. But in the context of a wider energy transition, PV’s development will remain policy-driven in the coming years – very much like all other electricity producing technologies. Financial support, administrative procedures and grid integration remain crucial issues.
That means we all have a lot of work to do. With clear vision, effective tools, and convincing policy positions, we’re more than ready for the challenge.
By Craig Winneker, Head of Political CommunicationsWith the release of its Green Paper on Climate and Energy on 27 March 2013, the European Commission kicked off the debate on the next steps in the transformation of Europe’s energy sector. The initial reaction from the solar industry was clear and resounding: Europe must set meaningful targets for 2030 on renewable energy, energy-efficiency and emissions reduction to give a boost to industry and to investments in clean energy.
“A consistent three-target approach on renewable energy, energy efficiency and emissions reductions will be a critical driver for clean energy investments, while moving the focus away from the most polluting energy sources,” said EPIA Policy Director Frauke Thies. “Europe must now be willing to follow through on this vision for a clean and competitive energy future, showing clear political direction and enabling further investments. That means committing to new objectives for 2030, including an ambitious and legally binding target for renewable energy sources.”
The Green Paper, which launches the discussion on the 2030 climate and energy framework, comes as some EU Member States are wavering in their support for renewable technologies such as solar photovoltaics (PV), and are even enacting measures to cut support retroactively. This has created some uncertainty on the part of investors and threatens an industry with a great potential to create jobs, mitigate climate change, and bolster Europe’s energy independence.
The Commission also published a progress report on the implementation of its directive to achieve a 20% share of renewables in overall energy use by 2020. The report finds that significant progress has been made since the adoption of the Renewable Energy Directive in 2009, but underlined that further efforts are needed. The Commission noted that, among other things, progress has been hampered recently by unpredictable and retroactive changes to the political framework for renewable energy in several European countries.
“The Commission is right to strongly reject retroactive changes to political framework conditions that undermine investor confidence, destroy flourishing markets and eventually increase the cost of investments due to the created uncertainty,” said Thies. “Especially at a time when renewable energy technologies like solar power are becoming more and more economically attractive, governments can only gain from a reasonable and stable political framework for renewables. This will benefit and the economy, consumers and the environment.”
In December 2012, EPIA sent a letter to European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, signed by more than 70 companies and associations in the solar PV electricity sector, calling on the EU to take action against Member States that are enacting retroactive measures or moratoria on support schemes for renewables.