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Policy topics

ESMC strives to take a position that reflects the interests of the upstream part of the PV industry in Europe, in order to promote and support manufacturing companies, equipment manufacturers and R&D organizations. This could be achieved by using smart instruments depending on the market and policy evolutions.

ESMC favours a systemic approach to EU-based production for the current and future energy system. To reach this objective, a set of policy instruments will be required. ESMC have formed working groups and is working actively on the topics described below.

Ecodesign & Energy labelling

As the European Commission is considering introducing environmental policies for PV and other markets, ESMC promotes a specific position aiming at mandatory policies rather than voluntary schemes, with a preference for a strong EcoDesign scheme. The inclusion of CO2-footprint, in addition to other environmental requirements, is a key success for ESMC, and we actively follow the development.

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Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and other EU Funds

As part of a wide-ranging response, the aim of the Recovery and Resilience Facility is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic. During 2021, ESMC addressed the EU Commission and followed the development of the Recovery and Resilience plans (RRP), and thereafter studied and summarized the total support for PV manufacturing in the endorsed plans.

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Social Sustainability in the PV Supply Chain

Social sustainability is crucial in the solar PV industry due to its far-reaching implications for both people and the planet. Fair labour conditions at every stage of the value chain, worldwide, are a cornerstone of ESMC’s efforts in this area. Ensuring equitable and safe working conditions globally not only upholds human rights but also fosters industry growth by attracting a skilled and motivated workforce. It mitigates exploitation, reduces inequality, and empowers communities.

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EU Solar PV Industry Alliance (ESIA)

The EU Solar Energy Strategy states that the EU Solar PV Industry Alliance will bring together industrial actors, research institutes, consumer associations and other stakeholders with an interest in the solar PV sector, including the emerging circularity industry. The Alliance will work to identify and coordinate investment opportunities, project pipelines and technology portfolios and establish pathways for the solar industrial ecosystem in Europe.

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IPCEI for PV Manufacturing

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for the possibility of approving state aid for ‘Important Projects of Common European Interest’ (IPCEI). ESMC initiated a process and a working group in spring 2021, in collaboration with the European Solar Initiative. Throughout 2021, the IPCEI consortia attracted over 60 European companies and research organizations, all actively engaged in forming an IPCEI for PV manufacturing under the lead of ESMC.

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EU Strategy on Solar Energy

Promoting the development of manufacturing capacities for sustainable PV products in Europe requires implementation of support policies, without slowing down market development. Following the EU industrial strategy, ESMC have requested a Solar Strategy in which the significance of PV manufacturing will be addressed.

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