Exclusive: momentum building for global PV association

While solar PV is a truly global business, with international material, equipment and component supply chains, markets remain very much a local matter – with regulations, electricity markets, geography and solar resource dictating how and when PV markets emerge. As such, national and regional PV bodies remain the major players amongst industry associations.

However, this may be set to change as a move to establish a global PV association builds momentum. A proposal for The Global Solar Photovoltaic Association (GSPVA) has been on the table since the Intersolar Europe trade fair last month in Munich. Representatives from peak bodies including the IPVEA, Europe’s EPIA and the MENA region’s MESIA met with various national bodies in Munich to discuss the formation of the GSPVA.

National PV industry bodies from Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Israel, Brazil and Argentina were also present at the meeting. China formed its PV association earlier this year, but it appears not involved in the GSPVA discussions at present. With the rapid growth of the Asian PV markets, this and Japan’s JPVEA ommission may be damanging to the prospects of any global association. While some of the individuals involved in the GSPVA discussions are from U.S. firms, SEIA has not been involved in the GSPVA discussions to date.

pv magazine has been informed that lively debate over the planned creation of the GSPVA ensued at the Munich meeting, with some parties vigorously objecting to some aspects of the proposal. However, it now seems that the initiative is building support despite these objections and may be winning over those skeptical of the move.

IPVEA’s Bryan Ekus, MESIA’s Luis Torres, Italy’s Gianni Chianetta and Israel’s Eitan Parnass are understood to be driving forces behind the move to establish the global PV body.

The various parties will speak for a third time tomorrow, in a teleconference, to discuss a scoping document prepared by EPIA for the GSPVA. The EPIA document, which has been provided exclusively to pv magazine, states that the formation of the international PV industry: “might benefit significantly from an institutions which represents the industry at a global level.”

The EPIA scoping document proposes GSPVA operate under the following mission statement:

“The Global Solar PV Association is the international/global voice of the solar photovoltaic industry. Its mission is to ensure that solar power establishes itself as the answer to today’s energy challenges, providing substantial environmental and economic benefits. Its mandate is to communicate the benefits of solar power to intergovernmental organizations, policy makers and international institutions.”

The proposed timeline for the formation of the GSPVA is for an MOU to be signed at the EU PVSEC trade show and conference in September, with an industry-wide announcement to follow at the Solar Power International (SPI) event in Las Vegas in October.