EU industrial strategy can boost European solar leadership


Brussels, 31 January 2020 – The first official communication on Industrial Strategy within the European Green Deal policy framework is due to be released on 4 March, which will clarify the EU’s long-term vision of European manufacturing and innovation. In anticipation of this announcement, Fraunhofer ISE has joined forces with SolarPower Europe, the European Association of Research Institutes (EUREC), 17 national solar associations, and 10 other major European research institutes, to urge the adoption of an industrial strategy for solar in Europe as part of this vision. Fraunhofer ISE is the latest signee of a joint letter that calls for the Commission to put in place a comprehensive industrial strategy for solar, which would recognise the European solar industry as a Strategic Value Chain, opening up new opportunities for solar, such as the Strategic Forum on IPCEIs.

Dr Andreas Bett, Director of Fraunhofer ISE, said: “Solar PV continues to play an essential role in the transformation of our energy system, and the market is booming on a global level. Europe still holds the technological leadership in this technology, however, in order to maintain this position and not become dependent on imports, we need to reinstall solar cell production on our continent. Our studies in cooperation with industry show that PV production in Europe with policies valuing sustainability and best environmental performers is economically feasible.”

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: “Solar has entered a new growth phase in Europe, with an over 100% solar market increase in 2019, and projections pointing to record-breaking installations in the next few years. With such strong market prospects, it is the ideal moment to take advantage of Europe’s existing innovative solar technologies by putting in place a comprehensive industrial strategy. This will ensure the creation of highly-skilled and local clean energy jobs in Europe, thus making good on the promise for a just transition where no European is left behind. European policymakers have a golden opportunity to implement an industrial strategy that will future-proof a robust and competitive European solar industry, deliver vast economic, social, and environmental benefits across the entire continent, and ensure that the European Green Deal is achieved before the Commission’s deadlines.”