• SolarPower Europe has launched a major policy crusade demanding Europe to have its very own large-scale module production capacity
  • It demands 5 GW of solar cell and module production capacity within Europe to be able to cater to the anticipated demand for around 15 GW annually
  • This will need to be ensured through, among other measures, relaxation of state aid rules, specific regulatory support for accessible finance, and cheap land availability to manufacturers
  • Supporting the association in this call are over 35 European solar manufacturers, including Wacker, SMA, Total, Weidmuller, Voestalpine, SolarWatt, ABB, Enel and Meyer Burger
  • SolarPower Europe will present these recommendations before European Commissioner for Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete in January 2019 at the next high-level Clean Energy Industrial Forum

In the wake of the European Union’s minimum import price (MIP) for Chinese cells and modules gone, binding national 2030 targets and a recently passed 32% renewables target in the total energy mix by 2030, the region is expected to see growing market demand for PV. To catapult the domestic solar industry into such a scenario, Europe’s solar lobby association SolarPower Europe (SPE) has launched a major policy push asking for 5 GW of cell and module manufacturing capacity.

SPE expects demand for solar to shoot up to around 15 GW a year in Europe soon, which provides a new business case for domestic manufacturing to cater to this growing demand. SPE President Christian Westermeier said the association wants to see all solar products, including wafers, cells and modules made in the European Union in the coming years.

Not only do we want 5 GW cell and module factories in Europe, driven through relaxation of state aid laws, but we also want to see specific regulatory support to ensure that finance is accessible, land is made cheaply available to manufacturers, energy costs are kept low and that administrative burdens to develop and grow solar manufacturing companies are addressed and reduced,” said SPE Policy Director Aurélie Beauvais.

SolarPower Europe’s call is supported ‘unanimously’ by more than 35 leading EU based solar manufacturers, including Wacker, SMA, Total, Weidmuller, Voestalpine, SolarWatt, ABB, Enel and Meyer Burger.

The association will put forward its key recommendations before European Commissioner for Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete in January 2019 at the next high-level Clean Energy Industrial Forum.

SPE sees Europe installing 12.6 GW of new PV capacity in 2018, increasing from 9.2 GW installed a year back (see 12.6 GW PV Forecast For Europe In 2018).