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European solar initiative aims to accelerate the climate agenda

The European Solar Initiative aims to re-develop a strong PV manufacturing industry, which will capture the additional 20GW of annual solar demand forecasted in Europe for the next decade.

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The ESI wants to help capture what it describes as a booming demand for solar
The ESI wants to help capture what it describes as a booming demand for solar

A new European initiative aims to help capture what it claims is a “booming demand” for solar power to accelerate the climate agenda and contribute to delivery of the European Green Deal objectives.

 

The European Solar Initiative (ESI) has been launched by the sustainable energy innovation engine, EIT InnoEnergy, and the SolarPower Europe members’ association, with the support of EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson and EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton.

 

Value chain

 

The ESI aims to re-develop a strong photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing industry in Europe across the entire value chain from raw materials to recycling, which will capture the additional 20GW of annual solar demand forecasted in Europe for the next decade. This will generate €40bn of GDP annually and create 400,000 new direct and indirect jobs across the PV value chain.

 

“As the lowest-cost and most job-intensive renewable technology, solar is poised to deliver the goals of the European Green Deal and Green Recovery,” said Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe. “The momentum is building to scale up manufacturing activities in the EU, based on the strong domestic market uptake confirmed in 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the sustained technological leadership of European companies.

 

“Following the successful launch of the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator in May 2020, we are delighted to further boost the solar industry, with EIT InnoEnergy, by launching the European Solar Initiative.”

 

The ESI combines the thriving ecosystem of PV players created over the years by SolarPower Europe and the successful blueprint of the European Battery Alliance, led by EIT InnoEnergy, with its Business Investment Platform (BIP). Designed to bridge the gap between business cases, investors, off takers, delivery resources, the BIP shortens time to investment, de-risks, accelerates and boosts the robustness of the investment cases in all required dimensions (technology, team, supply chain, environmental sustainability, off-takers).

“As the lowest-cost and most job-intensive renewable technology, solar is poised to deliver the goals of the European Green Deal and Green Recovery”

“Enabling strategic value chains which accelerate the energy transition is at the core of EIT InnoEnergy’s mission. This ESI for the PV industry would be our third, after batteries (EBA) and hydrogen (EGHAC),” said Diego Pavia, CEO, EIT InnoEnergy.

 

He added: “The mix of national energy and climate plan demand, low cost of capital, notable successes in European technology development and a return of investment into the sector has created fertile ground for a rebirth of European PV. Europe has learnt from its previous experiences and with the Green Deal’s powerful, unambiguous political and business framework in place, scale and speed are going to be the key to unlocking PV’s potential.”

 

As an innovation engine for innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable energy, across Europe and beyond, EIT InnoEnergy has invested in and provided added value services to around 380 sustainable energy related innovators and of those more than 40 are in renewable generation.

 

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