- SPE’s latest position paper lists key action points to enable EU accelerate solar expansion that’s critical to ensure EU can have 1 TW solar by 2030
- The association believes in the short term which is coming winter, the EU can have 39 GW of solar power capacity under the right framework
- It will support the continent’s efforts to immediately disinvest from Russian gas and also provide relief from high electricity prices
European solar PV lobby association SolarPower Europe (SPE) says as much as 39 GW of solar PV capacity can be added to the European Union’s (EU) energy generation capacity for the coming winter alone, albeit with the right framework ‘to support immediate disinvestment from Russian gas’ and provide ‘immediate relief’ from soaring energy prices for gas.
This can come from 23.3 GW of solar rooftops and 15.7 GW of utility scale solar installations, says the association in a position paper that was presented by European solar CEOs to the EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson during SolarPower Summit in Brussels on March 30, 2022.
The position paper, as SPE explained, sets out exactly what solar power can deliver for the bloc’s climate goals in the short, medium and long term. “Ten flagship solar-supporting initiatives, through eight key actions, will build the necessary foundations for the European solar terawatt age,” it added.
Some of the significant points in the 8 key action plan are:
- Accelerate project deployment: Set a clear EU-level target for 100 GW solar PV deployment annually from 2025.
- Connect and integrate solar projects into the grid: Suspend grid connection costs between 2022-24, develop framework for grid-friendly solar projects, including solar & storage, hybrid renewables, and develop an EU-level roadmap on grid modernization.
- Develop the skills & workforce for solar projects: Mandate rooftop solar on all rooftops, ban new gas and oil boiler installations and launch skills initiative for solar PV industrial ecosystem.
- Deploy integrated solar PV applications: Create flagship initiative on innovative PV deployment, launch BIPV Strategy as part of Solar Industrial Strategy.
- Secure supply chains and access to raw materials: Develop a comprehensive analysis of the raw materials for PV industry, with particular focus on silicon metal, silver, aluminum and copper.
- Reinvest in domestic manufacturing: Launch €1 billion Solar Fund to leverage private investment, set target to close financing on shovel-ready projects within 6 months, bring in sustainability criteria and eliminate EU trade barriers.
- Boost rooftop PV deployment during the renovation wave: Launch EU Solar Rooftop Initiative for 23.3 GW rooftop solar by 2022-end, ease State Aid approval procedures, create awareness and adopt adequate regulatory framework.
- Develop an enabling framework for consumer-driven solar: Ensure rooftop solar deployment is accompanied with energy system management and local battery storage.
Detailed elements of the position paper are available on SPE’s website.
SPE CEO Walburga Hemetsberger stressed, “Factoring in this latest SolarPower Europe paper, the REPowerEU strategy, and the upcoming EU Solar Strategy, will be crucial tools to guide Europe towards a brighter, solar-powered future.”
During the SolarPower Summit The association repeated its assertion that the EC’s projection of 525 GW of solar capacity for the bloc by 2030 under REPowerEU is woefully short of its potential. While the pre-war, business-as-usual scenario predicts 672 GW, SPE says in light of the Russian invasion on Ukraine coupled with ongoing climate crisis there is high probability for EU’s solar capacity to reach 1 TW by the target year (see EU’s REPowerEU To Reduce Russia Reliance Short On Solar).
“1 TW of solar in 2030 can replace all Russian gas imports to the EU. We have no more time to waste, we must raise EU solar ambition,” said SPE President, Aristotelis Chantavas.