Collaborate to facilitate PV

As the Intersolar Europe 2012 trade fair, the IEEE expert panel has observed that solar-industry competition is at record highs. In the growing and competitive photovoltaic market, the IEEE has forecast US$7 trillion dollars in new capital to be invested in the industry by 2030.

However, as subsidies have seen the market develop at different rates in different countries, IEEE representatives have made the call for increased collaboration. Grid integration and technological innovation were two key areas of potential collaboration, as set out by the organization.

"Innovation is a critical component to driving success in any industry but we are already looking at state of the art technologies in the renewable energy markets," said Juris Kalejs, IEEE Member and CTO, American Capital Energy in the statement. "We now need to work on preparing all markets to cope with this sophisticated level of innovation through international collaboration and cooperation."

In terms of smart grids, the IEEE has suggested that countries with a more advanced photovoltaic industry – such as Germany – share its experiences with those where the solar industry is in its infancy. “The smart grid will be critical to helping solar utilities understand ?where they need to distribute energy; by sharing best practices and data obtained through modeling, we can drive an efficient solar industry that works for all nations," said Kalejs.

The IEEE also posed the question, what will happen when government subsidies end? By way of an answer, the organization has advised that the industry must ready itself for competitive-market integration. "Work needs to be done for them [photovoltaic companies] to be prepared to participate in the market when this favorable treatment ends," IEEE Director and academic Marko Delimar.