A petition organized by ETIP PV, EUREC and SOLARUNITED to urge EU policymakers to preserve Europe’s solar PV manufacturing landscape has gained more than 50 signatories drawn from across the solar value chain.
The joint letter urges the relevant parties of all EU member states to “help preserve a sustainable and globally competitive European PV manufacturing industry”, and goes on to highlight the benefits the sector has delivered to the EU’s economy and clean energy transition over the past few years.
“There is hardly any other sector in the EU that received as much public dedication and thrilled more young people, engineers and scientists [than solar PV manufacturing],” the letter states.
The signatories remarked that the PV industry harbors deep concern about losing this essential part of its value chain, putting at risk other sectors such as R&D and O&M. The aim of the letter, it stated, is to prevent further loss of solar manufacturing sites in Europe, and to keep the continent’s PV innovation ecosystem intact.
The letter outlined seven steps that the organizations believe could be taken in order to safeguard solar manufacturing in Europe. These steps include:
- The maintenance of existing, and development of additional, state-of-the-art solar manufacturing sites in Europe, guarding against any potential closure or relocation;
- A keener and collective focus on supporting the manufacture of high-quality, technologically advanced products at scale;
- An increase in R&D financing to levels that match Europe’s international competitors;
- The implementation of smart regulations that afford an advantage to EU products that comply with stringent manufacturing standards;
- Fostering greater technological and political cooperation with emerging solar markets, including India and Latam;
- And finding ways to install more solar PV across Europe.
“PV is transforming the world’s energy system,” the letter concluded. “It is strategically important for Europe to maintain strong involvement in this technology. This can only be achieved with an innovation-drive robust ecosystem of companies and research centers supplying different PV-related products and services. Large-scale manufacturing sites across the whole value chain are needed to ensure a sustainable future of PV in Europe. Cheap finance, accelerated R&D and smart regulation are the main ways to achieve sustainable PV manufacturing in Europe.”