Rising volumes of solar capacity are to be welcomed but, as panelists at a session of today’s SolarPower Europe event discussed, the technology must be kept ethical and responsible. That means industry working together; new, harmonized, mandatory and voluntary policy instruments; and a focus on quantifiable, life cycle-based investor criteria.
The European Solar Manufacturing Council says a decision by policymakers to disregard the carbon footprint of imported solar products ‘makes absolutely no sense’. Talk of ‘jobs which require a rather low qualification’, meanwhile, is unlikely to heal the widening rift with solar project developers and panel installers.
The EU’s Joint Research Center has created a comprehensive dataset to characterize the solar energy potential in the bloc’s 28 member states. The data shows even a 100-fold increase from current solar capacity would require a very limited amount of land – a lot less than wind power.
A study performed by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission has identified serious solar potential in Europe’s coal regions. According to the study, the transition to PV would also allow for similar full time employment equivalents as that of the coal industry.