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Picture ©Voltec Solar

On May 20th, an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) for PV was officially launched by the European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) in association with the partners of the European Solar Initiative, at an event in Brussels. The target of the IPCEI for PV is to mobilise the appropriate EU Member States support for innovative and breakthrough solar PV manufacturing technologies, and to ease their realisation for commercial production.

The PV-IPCEI event brought together high-level representatives from the European Commission, Member States, and the PV manufacturing industry to present and discuss the ongoing progress, the current geopolitical and market environment and to foresee the next steps to start the necessary PV-IPCEI policy and regulatory actions without delay.

The event was opened with a keynote speech by Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy. High-level representatives from Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and Directorate-General for Competition expressed support but also highlighted the importance of the Member States taking the leadership in the initiative. Five Member States – Austria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain – congratulated and expressed their full support for the launched PV-IPCEI framework. A very positive announcement at the event was that Spain expressed that they are prepared to lead and coordinate the PV-IPCEI process.

In addition, Michael Bloss, Member of the European Parliament, expressed support for PV manufacturing in Europe declaring that “There is a broad political support in the European Parliament to bring back PV manufacturing to Europe including the support for such instruments as IPCEI for PV, which could help to bring this vision into reality”. 

The event marks an important step in the support of EU Member States for a PV-IPCEI initiative, that was started by PV manufacturing industry already in 2021. It was agreed that all EU Member States will be informed and invited to join the initiative during the forthcoming weeks with the goal to launch the Member States commitments during the summer.

Currently, the PV-IPCEI framework is made up of 6 projects, but complementary projects and consortiums from different parts along the whole value chain of PV manufacturing are welcome to be formed by the PV manufacturing industry or by EU Member States potentially joining the framework during forthcoming weeks.

The PV-IPCEI launching event was organized just after the European Commission’s adoption of the EU Solar Energy Strategy on May 18th. The Strategy clearly expresses the support of the European Commission for the IPCEI: “The Commission will support efforts from Member States to pool their public resources via a potential Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) focused on breakthrough technologies and innovation along the solar value chain.”

ESMC welcomes the support for the PV-IPCEI expressed by the European Commission and Member States and will now prepare the next steps to start the calls for expression of interest in the Member States.

ESMC also supports the other initiatives presented in the EU Solar Energy Strategy, including the establishment of the EU Solar PV Industry Alliance, which will map the availability of financial support, attract private investment and facilitate dialogue and matchmaking between producers and off-takers. Along the implementation of these actions the PV-IPCEI framework is targeted to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the European PV manufacturing industry by mobilizing EU Member States support for the innovative and breakthrough PV technologies.

Download this press release here.

See meeting recording here.

Žygimantas Vaičiūnas
ESMC Policy Director

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