European Solar PV Industry Looks Ahead

Last week in Brussels 400 delegates from policy, research, industry and finance gathered for the first General Assembly of the European Photovoltaic Technology Platform, and discussed their work for its first year of activities. This happens at a time when energy and security of supply have become strategic issues.

Commissioner Potocnik, opening the session, underlined how national member States need to better coordinate research programs for photovoltaic (PV) with the European level. Considering the fact that PV is a fast-growing technology, with social, economic and environmental benefits, he confirmed that the achieved work through the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) will be taken into account for the final definition of the FP7 work program. The PV Platform was created in 2005 to implement the PV Vision to 2030. Four working groups are developing concrete action programs to implement the Vision. The main challenges of this forum are to ensure European industry leadership; that PV is a sustainable energy source able to contribute significantly to the energy mix. Another challenge will be to improve the sector’s competitiveness through the deployment in Europe, of adequate support mechanisms (e.g., feed-in tariff). Solar electricity has a long-term strong potential and therefore should be adequately taken into account while defining European energy policies. The platform involves all stakeholders of the PV sector and covers a wide scope of activities relevant to develop the Vision. The actors of the platform have already started to create a dynamism by mobilizing resources and stimulating European-wide cooperation. With the current trend of development and if political efforts are maintained, it is estimated that solar electricity can bring electricity to more than 7 million families in Europe by 2010. The platform will ensure that these perspectives are achieved.

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