During the opening of the event, Dr. Robert Walters from the U.S. Naval Research Lab, in Washington DC. told delegates that if PV is to become a leading energy source, the industry must keep up the hard work. He stated: We are at a moment of technical, political, social and economic conditions that is enabling PV to become the world’s choice for renewable energy. We can only take advantage of this historic opportunity if we, the world PV community, continue our hard work and progress.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bertrand Piccard, initiator and president of the Solar Impulse project, who delivered the keynote speech, commented: If an aircraft is able to fly day and night without fuel, propelled only by solar energy, let no one claim that it is impossible to do the same thing for motor vehicles, heating and air conditioning systems and computers. This project voices our conviction that a pioneering spirit with political vision can together change society and bring about an end to fossil fuel dependency.
Dr. Giovanni Federigo De Santi, director of the Institute for Energy (IE) JRC – European Commission, who opened the event, along with conference vice chairmen Professor Makoto Konagai from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Tokyo, Japan, and Walters, was also looking to the future. Exciting visions of how massive deployment of PV systems will look in 10 years from now will be outlined, he said. A vision beyond the 2020 PV targets is permitted on the occasion of our common conference. Will we reach a globally installed PV solar capacity of 3,000 gigagwatts (GW) or even 4,000 GW by reducing production costs largely by 2020? During the conference week you will have the opportunity to witness such long term visions.
Konagai added: It is very exciting to learn that the contribution of Asian countries to the production of solar cells is steadily increasing every year. If all the ambitious plans formulated by the company can be realized by 2012, China will have about 32 percent of the worldwide production capacity of 54 GW, Taiwan (15 percent), and Japan (12 percent). Last year, Japan started a new PV power purchase program that should facilitate a higher rate of purchase of excess electricity from PV systems. The goal is to achieve an approximately twenty-fold increase in the cumulative installed PV capacity by 2020.
The trade show
Twelve years after the 2nd World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion in Vienna, Austria, it is again Europes turn to welcome the global PV community and to host the WCPEC-5. The event, which is held from September 6 to 9, expects to attract 4,500 conference delegates and around 40,000 visitors for the PV Industry Exhibition, which will spread over eight large exhibition halls at the Feria Valencia fairground, covering an exhibition area of 80,000 sqm. 963 exhibitors from around the world will present their new products, technical solutions and services.