Becquerel winners submit resolution for revival of solar industry to the EU


On the occasion of the 35th EU Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC), which ended on Friday, prominent solar industry representatives submitted a resolution to the European Commission.

Numerous Becquerel winners – one of the most important PV awards in Europe – are demanding the expansion of the European solar manufacturing industry, along the entire PV value chain and on a large scale.

This is particularly important for the development of solar power by 2050, they say, as it will take a dominant role in energy supply, with European research institutions leading PV technology development.

The scientists are concerrned that the European PV industry, particularly cell and module manufacturers, will be completely lost to Asian competition, according to a statement sent to pv magazine by the Fraunhofer-ISE today.

The Becquerel Prize winners' resolution comprises four points:

1. The European Commission and the governments of all member states are called upon to create framework conditions that allow the reconstruction of new, large-scale European PV production. They should cover the entire value chain, including wafers, solar cells and modules. Appropriate credit lines, production locations and transnational cooperation will be needed for such a framework, the resolution said.

2. All EU countries should again be actively involved in support of PV installations, for example through financial incentives or regulations that stipulate PV in all new buildings.

3. The scientists also demand that an eco-label for solar modules must be introduced with immediate effect, that also takes recycling aspects into account.

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4. The final point of the resolution states that the EU's research policy should focus on the rebuilding of PV production in Europe. This could be done, for example, under the new Horizon Europe program for the period from 2021 to 2027, or through the financing of PV research projects directly related to manufacturing issues.

A total of 16 Becquerel winners have signed the resolution, including Fraunhofer ISE scientists, Andreas Bett, Stefan Glunz and Adolf Goetzberger. Award winners Peter Würfel and Winfried Hoffmann, Wim Sinke and Richard Swanson are also among the signatories of the resolution.

The Becquerel Prize has been awarded by the EU Commission since 1989 at the EU PVSEC for outstanding achievements in terms of photovoltaics.

At the beginning of the EU PVSEC in Brussels on Monday, the founding of a new alliance was announced: The European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) has brought together research institutes, mechanical engineers, material and component manufacturers from Europe. They want to give the upstream sector a stronger voice again.

The construction of PV production on a gigawatt scale is also at the center of efforts at ESMC. The Alliance wants to make its voice heard in politics, in order to create the necessary framework conditions for the rebuilding of the solar industry in Europe.

For the involved research institutes this is crucial, in order to be able to continue their work and to get a technological lead, for example against the competition from Asia.

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