EU launches initiative to support solar, renewable energy

The European Commission has officially launched the Clean Energy Industrial Forum, an initiative developed in the frame of its energy strategy for the period 2020-2030, the so-called Clean Energy Package or Winter Package, which is aimed at supporting the clean energy industry of the EU.

The forum is intended to support the industry in three different segments – renewables, batteries and construction – and to strengthen the industrial basis, and the EU value chain for all renewable energy technologies.

Furthermore, the forum is expected to identify potential developments across sectors and across the value chain between different member states, and specific segments in which the EU value chain may be competitive. Yet, the forum is expected to create synergies between the existing players of the European renewable energy industry, and to address common gaps and needs across different technology sectors.

This “healthy and strong” strategy, the EC said, will also entail the support to, among others, manufacturing equipment of renewable energy technologies, as well as to material producers.

The forum will organize two meetings per year, in order to ensure an “ongoing dialogue between the European Commission and relevant stakeholders.”

European solar association, SolarPower Europe has welcomed the creation of the forum, claiming it represents a breakthrough moment for solar in Europe.

“SolarPower Europe has been involved in the development of this Forum since 2016 when the Board called for an industrial strategy for solar in Europe, which led to the launch of our Industrial Competitiveness Task Force in 2017. The Clean Energy Industrial Forum is an eagerly awaited initiative that will invigorate our sector,” said SolarPower Europe CEO James Watson.

He added, “It is also the perfect opportunity to review policies that have hampered competitiveness, such as the trade measures on solar panels and bring about a holistic policy that bolster the entire solar value chain. We look forward to working with Commission on the Clean Energy Industrial Forum which will ensure solar’s continued success.”