Members of the International Photovoltaic Equipment Association unanimously approved this week to drop the IPVEA acronym and rebrand as SOLARUNITED.

The announcement, made at the penultimate day of the EU PVSEC exhibition in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is intended to reflect the association’s new vision, expansion plans and ongoing re-branding, which is intended to help steer a new direction for the global solar industry.

"The concept behind IPVEA’s new name expansion is that we want to unite the whole solar industry value chain as well as association industries, such as energy storage, utilities and grid operators, through a collaborative approach," said SOLARUNITED president Eric Ast.

One of SOLARUNITED’s newest members, CSUN’s EMEA general manager Engin Yaman, said that the organization "unifies leaders across the solar industry and associations, and our company is proud to contribute to this first-ever global initiative".

Board member Richard Moreth, who also heads up PV sales at Vitronic, affirmed that the association "remains focused strongly on technology" but added that SOLARUNITED will also look to provide more opportunities for key stakeholders to improve PV quality and reliability.

SOLARUNITED’s managing director Bryan Ekus added that the rebranding will help the organization integrate more members and solar players, providing a non-competitive environment for all national and regional organizations that have thus far found it difficult to work together.

The first action point on the agenda for SOLARUNITED is to assemble strategy committees to focus on the most important issues for solar’s industry leaders today.

In its previous incarnation as IPVEA – which was established in 2008 – the association promoted a path of cooperation and mutual support across the solar value chain; an ethos that the organization will seek to expand upon, said SOLARUNITED.